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Wish Blog

Social Work Highlight Kara

March is Social Work month. As a hematology/oncology social worker at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, Kara Hinerman refers more children to Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee than any other single person.

Kara Hinerman, LCSW


Social Worker

Describe your work in a few words.  

I am a pediatric  social worker in the Hematology/Oncology department at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. My role is to support patients (and their families) who are going through cancer treatment.  Support may be in the form of helping them cope with a diagnosis of cancer, assisting with financial stressors associated with medical treatment, and any other way that may help a patient/family during a very difficult time.

What effect do you see a wish having on your patients?   

When a patient (and their family) hears the word “cancer”, they undergo a variety of emotions. As they are learning  about diagnoses, treatment plans, side effects, etc.,  it is encouraging to talk to patients about having a wish granted through Make-A-Wish.  It gives our patients something to dream about and  plan for, which  gives them hope during a very scary time.

Do you have a wish story that stands out to you?  

I love hearing stories from patients of all different ages.  They get to be creative and wish for something specific to their interests, which makes it all the more special.   The wish that sticks out in my mind the most is when Make-A-WishW delivered a Spiderman electric jeep to the hospital for one of my patients who was too sick to leave the hospital…the whole medical team (and other families) got to see him riding around the halls in his own Spiderman jeep (with the IV pole being pulled right along beside him!)

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