National Social Work Month Spotlight: Lara Moretti

"I love when a donor family tells me that talking to me has helped them..."


March is National Social Work Month!

Lara Moretti, MSW Columbia University

In celebration, the Howie’s House would like to thank and recognize some of the local social workers who help donor families and transplant patients around Gift of Life’s region! Every Saturday, check back and read about a new social worker in the local community. Also be sure to be on the lookout for their transplant caregiver tips throughout the month via the Howie’s House social media!

LARA MORETTI has been a social worker at Gift of Life Donor Program since 2003.  She’s worked in a variety of social work fields, from working with adolescents, to hospital/ transplant social work, to employment assistance, and even spent some time working for an internet advertising company in the 90’s! She’s no stranger to transplant social work because her first field placement in graduate school was with heart failure/heart transplant patients!

Why did you decide to go into Social Work?

I knew I wanted to go into some kind of counseling and helping profession (my mother was a guidance counselor) but I knew I wasn’t interested in becoming a full time therapist.  Social work seemed like a good way to combine my helping and therapeutic skills while using other skills in a variety of setting.  I also was always interested in the medical field and started as a hospital social worker. The job at Gift of Life came at a time when I was looking to try something different in social work.


What is your favorite aspect of your job?

I love when a donor family tells me that talking to me has helped them. So much of what I do is grief education for these families. They may have experienced loss before but this sudden, unexpected loss has them reacting in such a different way, that often they feel like they aren’t grieving normally. Most of them are experiencing normal grief; they just don’t know it.  Being able to educate them and give them permission to grieve the way they are grieving is hugely rewarding.

What is your favorite way to relieve stress?

Losing myself in a good book or “This American Life” podcasts.

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