#PeopleofPCH – Cate Gadanidis, Associate Director of Care

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#PeopleofPCH is a series that highlights the diverse stories of staff, residents, and families across Partners Community Health (PCH).

Say hello to Cate Gadanidis, Associate Director of Care at Wellbrook Place. Cate shares her story for National Social Work Month. The theme for this year’s National Social Work Month is #SocialWorkOpensDoors.

“What I love most about my job is that I’m able to help people navigate a very complex long-term care system. I get to be an advocate and a mediator that families can rely on to help them through situations they’ve probably never experienced before. 

I joined Partners Community Health in 2023 as a social service worker, and I have recently taken on the role of Associate Director of Care where I supported the opening and currently manage the Behavioural Support Unit (BSU) at Wellbrook Place 

I always say that working with individuals who are experiencing behavioural expressions is one of those things that chose me, it’s something I’ve naturally gravitated towards. In the BSU, I’m able to advocate for people who may not qualify for traditional long-term care and provide resources to ensure that they don’t get lost in the system. Our goal in this unit is to support residents through their journey so that they can eventually transition and thrive in a traditional long-term care environment. From forming relationships to developing care plans, I’m able to provide these residents with more dignity and enhance their quality of life. I’ve always wanted to make a difference in people’s lives, and I get to do that every day working in the BSU. 

This year’s theme for National Social Work Month is ‘social work opens doors.’ When we guide residents through the doors of their new home, we quite literally open doors within our practice. Figuratively, we open doors by also offering opportunities. With the opening of the BSU, we created doorways where there was once a wall. I strive to not only open doors for those behind me, but I challenge myself every day to inspire others to open doors for themselves to further possibilities. 

In social work, we’re taught a holistic approach to care. Social workers and social service workers are not just supporting the residents, we’re also supporting their families and the staff who care for them. We work to improve the resident experience by building skills, knowledge and capacity for residents and families so that they feel empowered to have a voice and help themselves. Often, people come to long-term care with the mindset that they can’t do something. It’s about showing them that they can. 

I believe what makes social workers and social service workers so integral in long-term care, and especially in leadership roles, is that they have been trained with empathy. Many of the skills taught in social work, like listening and conflict resolution, translate well into leadership positions. The field of social work is so versatile. I’m in it for life.” 

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