UNCW Student Named Wilmington’s First Social Worker in Veterinary Medicine

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Master of Social Work student, Charity Moorhouse, has made history as Wilmington’s first social worker in veterinary medicine. Since last summer, she has worked as an intern at the Animal Emergency & Trauma Hospital, Wilmington’s only emergency veterinary clinic. While the veterinary profession lacks social work positions throughout the country, Moorhous’s new employment is paving the way for a whole new outlet of social work jobs and careers.

dr Gina Scarzella is an ER veterinarian in Wilmington who, after witnessing the mental health crisis affecting her employees and colleagues, decided to take action and suggest that the practice hire an in-house social worker. Scarzella believes that Moorhouse’s employment will have a lasting impact on both the mental health of vets and their clients.

“Our end goal is to be able to put veterinary social workers in practices to help decrease fatigue, raise more mental health awareness and give staff the tools to stay in practice because we see a lot of turnover just because it is a complicated field to work in,” Scarzella said.

Moorhouse indicates that this position is unique to the Social Work profession in the sheer scope of support. “You aren’t just helping your clients; you’re helping your coworkers. A position like this is forcing the social work profession to grow into non-traditional fields,” she says.

Read the full story on the CHHS website.