Hope for HIE – Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Hope for HIE – Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy


Hope for HIE Welcomes Haley Thomas, LMSW!

May 24th, 2023  | News


Hope for HIE is growing, and we are so proud to continue offering more services, programs, and opportunities for our community! As of May, Haley Thomas, LMSW – a licensed Medical Social Worker– joined Hope for HIE to support our global HIE families.  Beginning her career in 2008, Haley has ample experience supporting families from the beginning-to-end of life and specializes in helping families cope with trauma, unexpected diagnoses, and hospitalization in the NICU, PICU, and ICU. She is prepared and ready to grow the range of services available across all HIE ages, outcomes, and impacts.

Haley joined us for a LIVE Q&A to discuss her role for Hope for HIE, and if you happened to miss the stream, no worries; you can find key takeaways below!

Key Takeaway 1: Social work is all about connection and partnership

There is a wide range of support services that community social workers generally provide; however, Haley explains how all roads lead back to connection and partnership. For instance, social workers have the knowledge and tools to partner families with local or national resources and organizations that can help with various medical diagnoses or housing, food, and money insecurities. They also have the means to connect families to others in the community who share similar experiences, to peer support or mentorship programs, and to support groups. 

The trick to accessing these connections? Just reach out and ask! Haley explains how she, along with any other social worker a family may encounter, can tailor the resources to what each individual or family needs.

Key Takeaway 2: Haley provides a wide variety of support services

Not only is Haley taking on our preexisting resources and support programs, but she is also working hard to expand these programs to reach more families and to become even more inclusive to those across an extensive range of outcomes and impacts.

  • Video Support Groups
    Currently, in addition to Hope for HIE’s 24/7 Peer Support groups based on Facebook, we offer social worker-led video support groups for Newly Diagnosed Families [designated for legal parents and guardians whose children have received an HIE diagnosis within the last year and is scheduled for the 1st Thursday of every month] as well as for Loss Families [designated for legal parents and guardians who have experienced the loss of a child due to HIE and is scheduled the 2nd Thursday of every month].

    Haley is working closely with peer mentors and attendees of these support groups to generate ideas for growing these initiatives and is actively seeking feedback from new and established community members to create new video support groups that do not fall under the above two categories.

  • Building partnerships with worldwide hospitals and providers
    One of Hope for HIE’s goals is to establish strong partnerships with those that diagnose and connect our families, such as hospitals, NICUs, PICUs, clinicians, and community agencies; this way, we can ensure no family faces HIE alone. Haley’s outreach responsibilities include building relationships with referral sources who should be connecting HIE families to our longitudinal support services and programs across all impacts and outcomes.

    This initiative will also include the establishment of a strong Hospital Ambassador Program, in which parents and guardians who are familiar with the HIE NICU/PICU experience and have a strong desire to build relationships with their local providers and HIE community, can work under Haley’s direction and mentorship to help connect newly diagnosed families to resources and support. 

  • Growing our Peer Mentor Program
    Established last year, our Peer Mentor Program consists of trained, experienced, compassionate, and thoughtful parent leaders who provide emotional peer support to and serve as a helpful point of contact for our Newly Diagnosed and Loss Families. As we begin the second year of this program, Haley will begin to reach out to the community to ask for additional mentors who are ready to lend their support to families and is hopeful to expand to support other demographics and needs in our community.

Key Takeaway 3: Requesting Haley’s services is as easy as clicking a button

Haley is open and ready to receive requests for her social work services through our intake form found at HIE.Support.

HIE.Support is our quick and easy way to get connected to Hope for HIE’s comprehensive support programs and services, including social work, child life services, peer support, and more.

  • This is available to families, but clinical staff can also make quick referrals through the embedded intake form on that site that goes directly to our support team.
  • For clinical staff wishing to contact Haley, they can reach out via email to Haley@HopeforHie.org.

To watch the full Meet & Greet, go to our YouTube channel, or click the button below!



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