Sparkles Ransom, MSW, LCSW, C-ASWCM, C-SWHC

Grady Memorial Hospital

Atlanta, GA

About her profession of social work, Sparkles Ransom, MSW, LCSW, C-ASWCM, C-SWHC said, “I didn’t choose social work, social work chose me. It is my calling.” Her colleagues and patients would agree; within her organization, Sparkles is known as the go-to person for challenging situations.

Her fellow social workers look to her for her knowledge, expertise and the ability to get things done. Sparkles leads by example and is known for her patient-centered, trauma-informed practices that create a supportive environment for her patients. Her knowledge and leadership skills earned her a leadership position where she now oversees 70 social workers throughout the organization. “I [look] to Sparkles as a true voice of wisdom and reason, and to me she embodies the idea of the calm within a storm,” said one colleague.

In her practice, Sparkles works with many vulnerable populations, including victims of gun violence, domestic abuse and sex trafficking. She serves on numerous committees, including the interdisciplinary Violence Prevention Task Force at Grady. This group seeks to implement a hospital-based violence intervention program by leveraging key stakeholders, legislators and partnerships with community- and faith-based organizations.

Sparkles has also been appointed a member of the new Grady Medical Ethics Committee, tasked with formulating hospital policy and procedure to tackle the most persistent ethical issues in medical care. Her insight into Grady patients’ unique social challenges have allowed the Ethics Committee to craft nuanced preventative ethics measures. She is a strong advocate for identifying patients’ values and respecting their choices.

Despite the extraordinary challenges of the past year, Sparkles has taken it upon herself to further build her expertise by pursuing her doctorate in social work. Fittingly, she is preparing her dissertation on the barriers that social workers encounter in accessing treatment for patients suffering from substance abuse disorders since the advent of COVID-19.

Her compassionate care shows itself in ways both large and small. While working in the emergency room, Sparkles met with a homeless patient, and determined that he had unaddressed medical needs. She knew that the patient did not have any family, so she made sure to visit him while he was admitted. During one of her visits, she bought him a get-well balloon and card. The patient was so thankful because he had never received a card before. That small gesture meant so much to him.

For Sparkles, her work is personal. She was inspired to join the field by her grandmother, who was a foster parent and the surrogate mother to many in their community for more than 30 years. “I love people and I have a passion for helping those who need it,” said Sparkles. “I don’t see race, gender, age, or socioeconomic status. All I see is a person who may be in need.”

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