From the president
Madalyn Peterson is a senior and active leader in the Social Work program at Winona State. During her time at Winona State, she has developed a passion for bringing about proactive systematic changes to psychiatric services in order to improve accessibility and quality of those services to individuals in the community. As a social work student interning in a trauma one hospital emergency department, she is asking the difficult questions. Why are we not focused on prevention so that fewer individuals end up in crisis in our emergency departments? Why have we not adequately trained staff to handle psychiatric needs? Why are we generating quick fixes, rather than getting at the root of the cause? Madalyn is highly motivated and committed to advocating for human rights and making social change. Next year she will be pursing a Masters of Social Work where she will continue to lay the foundation for a lifelong commitment to addressing social problems from the local level and beyond.
Proactive systematic changes and the psychiatric needs for all is an area I have become passionate about during my time as an intern in the Winona Health Emergency Department. I have seen first-hand the large need for psychiatric services for our community. There are several changes that we need to begin to address these issues, including changes to physical spaces, effective community programing and better trained staff. If we invest in training people in spaces where these needs arise in our community, then we begin to work towards prevention and reducing emergency department visits. I am currently researching what other local emergency departments do to alleviate the trauma of being in an Emergency Department (ED). The role of a social worker is reactive vs proactive, once someone presents to the ED. If we had more trained social workers out working in the community then we can respond more proactively. Social Workers are trained to ask why? We see situations as a whole and the goal is to find the triggers and root causes. The same thing can be applied to a malfunctioning system. The program I am graduating from has prepared me to help identify changes needed and solutions