MSW alum uses social work training to assist others through bereavement program
“Listen for the joy because it sometimes comes in a whisper” This quote has served Mary Herta Jamerino well in both her personal and professional life.
In 1985 Mary graduated with a Masters in Social Work from the Wayne State University (WSU) School of Social Work and within six months of graduating had secured a job working at Grosse Pointe’s Cottage Hospital Emergency Room with clients referred for medical psychiatric services. As part of her MSW training, Mary was required to complete an internship at a local organization. This opportunity allowed Mary to translate her classroom knowledge into community action and she quickly attained a job upon graduation. Mary’s internship took place at Cottage Hospital and her field supervisor, the Director of Social Work, was so impressed by her skills and ability to engage with clients that he immediately contacted her when a position became available. After two years of working for both the hospital and a local funeral home, Mary left the hospital to focus on creating a bereavement program for a local funeral home. Mary utilized her skills and knowledge learned at WSU to create a program which addressed the grief process, feeling and expressing grief, recovery from a crisis and utilization of the diverse cultural, spiritual and ethnic values and beliefs which impact those left behind. Mary spent more than 15 years working with families and caregivers as part of the bereavement program. Mary eventually took a break to raise her daughter, Jennifer, and once in high school, she had the opportunity to return to the work she loved and easily moved back into bereavement work at another local funeral home, Desmond Funeral Home.
Mary has devoted her life to assisting others and helping them with the grieving process. Mary attributes much of her success to the skills she learned while at WSU and so enjoyed her experience in the heart of Detroit that she encouraged Jennifer to consider WSU for medical school. The WSU spirit lives on with Jennifer and she became a Warrior alum last Spring after graduating from WSU’s medical school. Jennifer is currently completing her residency at Akron’s Children Hospital. Mary is now retired and enjoys traveling and golf with her husband.
Mary would tell the next generation of WSU students to “Follow your dreams; life is a journey, embrace emotions and live in the moment.”
Learn more about the WSU Masters in Social Work Program.
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