Craig Smith, a social worker at Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital, is one of three recipients of the inaugural Yale New Haven Hospital Social Work Award for Excellence.
Smith was chosen by a YNHH-wide interdisciplinary committee, from a field of 44 nominees. He was recently honored at a ceremony with colleagues.
Smith became an employee of YPH when YNHH merged with the Hospital of Saint Raphael in 2012. He is responsible for completing psychiatric evaluations, inclusive of mental status examinations and diagnostic, risk, and psychosocial assessments. He also provides crisis intervention, family consults, and disposition planning.
He is well regarded and highly valued for his sense of humor, compassionate care, clinical skill, collaboration with physicians and all members of the interdisciplinary treatment team, and exceptional mentoring provided to a variety of trainees as well as junior and new colleagues.
The following are excerpts from the nomination read at the YNHH Department of Social Work Awards Ceremony:
“Craig has demonstrated himself to be an exceptionally conscientious and hard-working caregiver. He is impressively compassionate toward a cohort of patients some of whom are hard to feel sympathy for. He is conscientious, thorough, and thoughtful. He is diligent about obtaining collateral information and interacting with the families and other concerned parties of the patients who present to the ED with psychiatric difficulties.”
“Perhaps most noteworthy about Craig is his positive attitude and terrific sense of humor. In the ED and when he worked on the inpatient psychiatric unit, he has been a reliably positive influence and a source of support to his colleagues in what can be an exceptionally stressful and, at times, distressing environment. Besides helping troubled patients receive the help they need, Craig helps keep the caregivers sane.”
Smith graduated from Southern Connecticut State University with a Bachelor of Science in Social Work in 1992, and a Master of Social Work, with a specialization in Aging and Healthcare, in 1999. He earned his LCSW in 2004.
He began his career working with patients with Traumatic Brain Injuries and then became the Director of Social Work for a Skilled Nursing Facility. He joined the staff at the Hospital of Saint Raphael in 1999, serving as a clinical social worker, first on the adult psychiatric inpatient unit for almost five years, and then on the psychiatric consult service in the Emergency Department from June 2004 through the present.
Since 2011, he has also served as a supervising social worker in that setting.