March is Social Work Month, a time to celebrate all those in the profession.
Lynchburg Nursing Center’s licensed social worker, Stephen Felts, is one of these dedicated individuals. He has been director of social work at the skilled nursing and rehab center since 2010.
Felts started with the facility’s parent company, Life Care Centers of America, in 1997, however, and has served in social work at several different buildings – Life Care Center of Columbia, Tennessee, Life Care Center of Centerville, Tennessee, and Life Care Center of Tullahoma – before coming to Lynchburg.
“I was born a social worker,” said Felts. “I always felt like I had insight into people who were at a disadvantage.”
After earning his bachelor’s degree in social work from Austin Peay State University in his hometown of Clarksville, Tennessee, Felts started his career working with mentally ill adults. He also worked in home health for a hospital before getting into geriatrics and finding his niche.
“I just feel like this is my group of people I can best help,” Felts said. “I love making a difference in people’s lives, and sometimes just saying hi can make people’s day.”
Felts takes on a variety of tasks in his role at Lynchburg Nursing Center – from discharge planning and paperwork to counseling.
“I wear many different hats,” Felts said. “My door is always open. I provide counseling for anxiety and depression and monitor residents’ moods and behaviors. I help people prepare to go home, address concerns and even provide financial counseling.”
Serving at the facility is extra special for Felts because of the sense of community.
“I know everybody here,” said Felts. “I know my residents and their habits. I just feel like I’m in the right place at the right time.”
Felts lives in Shelbyville, Tennessee, with his wife, Darnell. He has a daughter, Romny, and stepson, CeeJa.