Louisa Muniain, MSW, LCSW, always wanted a career where she could help others.
For the last four years, she has worked with families at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, first as an intern and then as a social worker. Louisa feels honored to support children and their families throughout their transplant journey and enjoys getting to know them as individuals so she can better meet their unique needs.
Transplantation can be stressful and emotional for patients and their loved ones. Social workers assist families and consult with physicians and other health care providers to address a range of issues. They provide counseling, discharge planning, and assistance with patients’ special needs. They also serve as patient and family advocates so parents can find answers to questions and make appropriate decisions regarding their child’s care.
Q. How long have you been with UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh?
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A. I have been at UPMC Children’s for four years. I started as an intern for the abdominal transplant social worker, and then I was hired as the Intestinal Care and Rehabilitation Center (ICARE) social worker. As the ICARE social worker, I work closely with the abdominal transplant team and follow all small bowel transplant patients pre-transplant, during transplant admission, and post-transplant.
Q. What motivated you to pursue a career in social work?
A. I had always known I wanted to pursue a career that allowed me to help others. I chose social work because there are so many different paths you can take in the field, which gave me the freedom to try different areas of practice. I had never considered being a social worker in a hospital until I was an intern, and that year really opened my eyes to the world of transplant.
Q. Why did you decide to work with transplant patients?
A. During that intern year, I learned so much and felt that the transplant social worker was truly making a difference for these families. From that moment, I knew this is what I wanted to do, and I have been so thankful to be part of this incredible team. Transplant families make so many sacrifices to do what is best for their child, and I have seen firsthand how important it is to have as many support people as possible. Because of this, social workers have an extremely vital role as part of the transplant team.
Q. What is your favorite part of the job?
A. What I love most about this job is that I follow families long-term, which allows me to truly get to know them. Because of this, I know families’ needs and how to best support them. Each family is extremely unique, which I enjoy because it keeps me on my toes and ready for anything.
Learn more about how social workers at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh assist pediatric transplant patients and their families.
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From nutrition to illnesses, from athletics to school, children will face many challenges growing up. Parents often will make important health care decisions for them. We hope to help guide both of you in that journey. UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh ranks consistently on U.S. News & World Report’s Best Children’s Hospitals Honor Roll. UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital is a longtime national leader for women and their newborns. We aim to provide the best care for your children, from birth to adulthood and beyond.