Social worker’s experience valuable to health center

Janet Urdahl assists patients at La Red Health Center with social issues.

While she’s only been with La Red Health Center since March, Janet Urdahl has over 30 years of social work experience in a wide range of settings.

As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Addiction Counselor, Ms. Urdahl has previously worked in hospitals, nursing homes and served as an administrator for the state of Delaware for 20 years.

Ms. Urdahl began her career in social work because she didn’t appreciate the way she saw people who were seeking assistance being treated by social workers.

“I started off as a single mother on welfare,” Ms. Urdahl said. “I did not like the way people in social services disrespected people who needed assistance. So ever since then, I felt like I should do something, because everybody deserves to be respected no matter what their circumstance is.”

Ms. Urdahl didn’t start college until she was 27 years old, but she earned an MPS from the New School for Social Research in New York City and an MSW from Delaware State University.

As part of LRHC Family Practice unit, Ms. Urdahl has a bit of a different role than she’s served under in the past.

“This is kind of a switch for me, because I’ve always been an administrator. Here I’m pretty much doing direct care all day long. It’s what they call an integrated model of primary care, where you have doctors, nurse practitioners and social workers all on the same team.”

Ms. Urdahl assists in supporting the doctors. While the doctors and practitioners take care of all the medical needs of patients, they are referred to Ms. Urdahl if any of the patients need assistance with social issues.

“I really like working here,” Ms. Urdahl says of her first nine months. “The staff at LRHC is just incredible. They’re a really dedicated group of people, and it’s been a privilege to work with them.”

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