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Back to Blog Main Page Meet the Team: Rebecca Carpino
By: Jean Carl

Meet the Team

Jun 20 2023


Rebecca Carpino is a social worker/medical management coordinator in the inpatient stroke rehabilitation program at MossRehab Elkins Park. She is cofounder of Groom, Glow and Grow, a makeup therapy program that serves both inpatients and the LGBTQIA+ population within the Einstein Pride Program.

What inspired you to become a social worker?

My mother is a retired nurse and I wanted to help people, like her. While I admired her profession, I can't deal with blood, needles, and other stuff. When in college, I discovered social work, took classes, and loved it. Other than being a nurse, it's the best field for me in helping people.

What is your educational background and training?

I received my bachelor's and master's degrees in social work from California State University in San Bernardino. I am currently working on becoming a licensed social worker. In college, I trained in mental health with children in special education, and an intensive outpatient and inpatient psychiatric unit with teenagers. After college, I took a position in medical social work that changed my direction to working within a hospital.

Where do you work in the MossRehab network?

When I moved back to Philadelphia in 2012, I began working at MossRehab on a per diem basis as a medical management coordinator/social worker. I began working here full-time the following year in the inpatient stroke rehabilitation program at Elkins Park. In this role, I coordinate discharge planning that begins from the time a patient enters the rehabilitation hospital to when they leave to ensure a timely and smooth transition to home or a post-care facility.

What makes you stay at MossRehab?

In March, I celebrated my eleventh anniversary with MossRehab. My co-workers have been so kind and supportive as I was diagnosed with two cancers when first working here. The outpouring of support and generosity from staff and patients put me at ease. MossRehab has a very supportive and caring environment; it's like an extended family.

What is your role as a social worker?

Working as part of the patient's care team, I am responsible for discharge planning that may include home care, transportation services, resources, equipment, or transfer to a skilled nursing facility. My role also entails case management with insurance companies and supportive counseling and education to patients and their families. I also develop a therapeutic relationship with patients to understand their concerns and relay them to the medical team.

How do you work with families in providing support?

I serve as a contact for patients and their family members in answering questions and concerns. In my conversations, I help them understand the diagnosis and new norm of the patient who had a stroke and their role in supporting them. If they have questions about the prognosis, I'll let the doctor know they can talk to them. If they ask about rehabilitation and the use of equipment, I'll refer their questions to the therapist. I always look to the team to find who can best answer their questions and concern. In preparation for discharge, every caregiver receives a What Comes Next? folder that includes information on different services such as transportation and support groups. MossRehab offers quite a few education programs and caregiver support groups.

What is your approach to patient care?

I'm assigned to a physician and work as part of a patient care team alongside nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and neuropsychology in patient rehabilitation. Upon patient admission, I engage with patients and their family to determine their needs and provide input to the care team in the development of a treatment plan. Each week, the team meets to review patient status and exchange information. The patient and/or family are included in the update. If I talk to a patient and find they have a medical question or need emotional support, I'll communicate it to the team. It may be a matter of the doctor talking to the patient more about their medical needs or referring them to our neuropsychologist. Even outside the meeting, the team constantly communicates about patients.

Patients and their families also receive weekly updates on goals, estimated timelines, and progress in rehabilitation. Before discharge, the caregiver receives instruction on home general care, equipment such as wheelchairs, daily activities of living such as dressing, showering or bathing, diet, medical management, and other topics depending on the patient's needs. Should families determine they can't provide the level of needed care, they might ask for advice and assistance in moving their loved to another facility to continue their rehab before going home. I listen to their concerns and help them find the best resources for arranging support services while keeping a watchful eye on insurance.

Can you explain the Groom, Glow, and Grow program?

Groom, Glow and Grow is a makeup therapy program developed by myself and Stephanie Stein, occupational therapist and team leader at the MossRehab Drucker Brain Injury Center. We conduct therapeutic makeup sessions to teach inpatients how to apply makeup within their new limitations. We also support the Einstein Pride Program with virtual makeup demonstrations and skincare routines specifically for the LGBTQIA+ population.

When Stephanie and I worked on the same floor, I would wear makeup when I was going through my cancer treatments. Patients and staff would ask how I did my makeup and ask me to teach them. As we are both makeup artists, we volunteered to do makeup at Camp Independence, a retreat hosted by MossRehab for adults with physical disabilities. Based on their feedback, we thought about doing makeup therapy for inpatients. We got a grant through the Albert Einstein Society to support the program. Since starting in September 2021, we’ve worked with hundreds of patients in different units and conducted virtual sessions with the Pride Program. In addition to helping patients with grooming independence, the makeup therapy helps improve their mood and boost self-esteem. We are in the process of expanding the program within the Jefferson/Einstein network.

What inspires you on the job?

Helping patients and their families and hearing their appreciation. The other day, I was conversing with a patient who was expressing where he was before coming to MossRehab, where he was now, and where he wanted to be in the future. He told me he felt comfortable talking to me and appreciated my time. Hearing comments like that makes me know I am making a difference. It inspires me to see people smile and be happy.

Who has had a strong influence on your life?

My parents. They sacrificed a lot for me and were there for me when going through my cancer treatments. They have done so much for me in order to see me succeed.

What are your interests outside of work?

I have a crafting/decorating business with my best friend and also do photography for weddings, parties, etc. I spend time with my parents, best friend and friends. I am involved with my church. I also enjoy going to makeup conventions, buying makeup, and kickboxing.

What is the last book that you read?

I’m reading Jesus Listens (Daily Devotional Prayers of Peace, Joy, and Hope) by Sarah Young and my licensure prep book as I’m working on becoming a licensed social worker as my next step for this year.

Any favorite foods?

I love my mom's eggplant parmesan and my best friend's Stromboli's. Other favorites are pizza and sushi.

What is something people might not know about you?

I lived in California for 15 years but was born and raised in South Philly. I am also a two-time cancer survivor and a eucharistic minister at my church.

What is your life motto?

Everything happens for a reason, pray always, and put God first with everything

Read about the different stroke treatments and support groups offered through the MossRehab Stroke Rehabilitation Program.

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