How My Journey Began... A Brief Description

A brief history of myself, along with how and why I chose this path.

Posted by on 17th Dec 2022

My name is MaryJo Mastrogiacomo and I am a LMSW (Licensed Medical Social Worker). I earned my Master’s Degree (MSW) in Social Work from Fordham University and have been a practicing social worker specializing in adult and senior care since 1998.

More than just a diploma on the wall, this line of work has been near and dear to me for most of my life. For as long as I can remember, it was my innate nature to want to help others. My first "client" was actually my grandmother. I was 20 years old, spoke Italian, and was caring for her both physically and emotionally. I realized at the time that I had a special connection with the senior population, and that is how my journey began...

I cry when others cry and feel sadness when others feel sad. Some may consider this a weakness, but it has really been a strength. I have empathy - the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing - and having that trait has allowed me to build close social connections with others. As a social worker, empathy is an important and vital skill. It can help anticipate the needs of my clients. By understanding what people are thinking and feeling, I have been able to respond appropriately by building a rapport and establish trust.

The focus of my career has concentrated on assisting elderly and disabled clients who are often overwhelmed with the tedious paperwork and process of managing their care. This encompasses all facets of case management, including the Medicaid application process, Pooled Income Trust set up, and referrals to community programs and nursing home placements. As a social worker, I am trained to assess and evaluate a client’s needs. After an in-depth assessment, I will counsel and advise you on your best options and then walk you through the process in a caring and compassionate manner.

This process can be very emotional and frustrating for the client as well as their loved ones. My desire is to understand the client’s needs and support them through the journey of establishing an appropriate plan.

I understand and empathize on how emotional long-term planning can be. On a daily basis I meet with clients, caregivers, and family members who need guidance and a listening ear from a knowledgeable professional. Someone who can hold their hand and help them navigate through this process with respect, empathy, and compassion. My approach is more personal and I consider it a privilege to be able to help with you or your family’s needs. I will work directly with you and your family to make certain all your needs are met and all your questions are answered.

When you or a loved one is in need of long-term planning and care, numerous challenges can be expected. The added stress of these challenges in conjunction with the Medicaid application process can become extremely overwhelming. My guidance and expertise will make the process smooth and comforting.

And to those for whom English is not their primary language, I am fluent in Italian and have a working knowledge of Spanish.