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Social Worker Committee
Join the Social Worker Committee

Chairs:  Kristin Malaer, LCSW-S CCTSW-MCS and Shay Rogillio, LCSW-S CCTSW-MCS


Welcome to the ICCAC Social Work Task Force

Welcome to the LVAD Social Work Taskforce with ICCAC, a dedicated group of social workers committed to enhancing the support and well-being of patients with Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVADs). Our mission is to establish a robust social work presence within the LVAD community by fostering collaboration, engaging in impactful research initiatives, and actively pursuing best practices on both national and global scales. Through our collective expertise and shared dedication, we aim to provide comprehensive social work services that contribute to the holistic care of LVAD patients and further advance the field of LVAD-related social work.

Social workers work hand in hand with their LVAD Coordinator colleagues to improve outcomes for the patient, quality of life and support the caregivers. Our role in ICCAC is equally as valuable given our clinical skillset in mental health, support group training, crisis intervention and debriefing work. We are looking to grow our social work presence and foster an even stronger relationship between our interdisciplinary professions internationally! 

What does an LVAD Social Worker Do? 
  • Mechanical Circulatory Support (MCS) Social Workers conduct the psychosocial evaluation of a potential LVAD patient, including but not limited to: identifying social support for the patient and caregiver, compliance, mental health, coping skills, substance misuse/abuse, legal issues, understanding of MCS process, motivation for MCS, communication and learning style and the importance of body image. Additionally, MCS Social Workers seek to enhance the effective functioning and well-being of the VAD patient, their families, and their community through collaboration with multidisciplinary members of the circulatory clinical team in daily patient care, publishing and through education and advocacy.
  • However, our work with a patient far exceeds the initial psychosocial evaluation. We follow our patient's throughout their LVAD course of care, catering our interventions and resource allocation to the psychosocial assessment and the patient's overall goals. 
  • LVAD social workers are clinicians who hold a Masters degree in Social Work or comparable field, a masters of Social Work license in their state and often times additional clinical license in their state. For additional credentialing, LVAD social workers can pursue a CCTSW-MCS The Society for Transplant Social Workers credentialing known as CCTSW – MCS (Certified Clinical Social Worker- Mechanical Circulatory Support) certification, is considered a Joint Commission & DNV designated best practice for all Social Workers in an LVAD program, be it BTT or DT. Therefore is a recommended certification for all MCS social workers given its specialization and clinical focus.
  • LVAD social workers also host support groups for patients and caregivers (contingent upon individual program practice), offer mental health support and referrals to mental health services in the community as needed. We also support the caregiver as much as we support the patients acknowledging the vital role they play in the success of the patient. 
  • Support a patient, their family/care team and their goals while working towards alignment with the medical team and treatment plans. In doing so, we explore the potential impacts behavioral patterns and Social Determinants of Health may have on a patient's adherence to medical management or a potential misalignment of their goals. 
  • LVAD Social workers are trained mental health clinicians who utilize modalities and clinical skillsets such as Motivational Interviewing, Family Systems Theory, Strengths Based Approach and Solution Focused Interventions and Grief Counseling.   
  • LVAD Social Workers assist the patient and family through the end of life phase of care both logistically and emotionally by collaborating with Palliative Care teams and facilitating family support within the heart failure team. 

Social Work Education and Onboarding Resources 2023 

Social worker Toolkit to mcs and ssa 

VAD socialwork Assessment tool

Committee Chairs
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If you have any questions, please contact