Patience and a smile define Josette Karsk as a Kuakini Health Care Team member.
Currently one of two Social Work Assistants (SWA) that cover the Medical Center, Josette works long hours and makes sure the patients are discharged on time, her nominator said. “She always has a smile, no matter how swamped in paperwork she is. She has excellent customer service with patients and their families, and with co-workers.”
Josette helps Case Managers and Medical Social Workers find a facility for discharged patients in rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, care homes or foster homes. The challenge – and joy – of the job, Josette said, is being able to help the patient’s family understand that their loved one will be placed in another facility that is caring, safe and appropriate.
“Sometimes the families are not happy (with having to move their loved one to another facility). The challenge is to be patient in trying to help them figure it out, to explain the process and make them understand that it is better for them,” she said.
Josette started out as a Unit Clerk Secretary on Waikiki 4 right out of boot camp from the U.S. Navy. She liked working here at Kuakini so much that she stayed for the next 25 years, moving on to the Progressive Care Unit, Cardiac Care Unit and finally to the Care Management/ Medical Social Work department.
“I have lifelong friends here. It’s a small hospital… you feel welcome like a family,” Josette said. “When you see someone, everybody says ‘how are you’ or ‘how are the kids.’ We’re small enough to have that family community, that’s why I like working here. I’m also fortunate to have supervisors and managers that are helpful and open to seeing me succeed in what I want to do.”
Now retired from the Navy, Josette is also going back to school for a degree. During her spare time, she enjoys the three R’s – running, reading and resting and spends time with her family at the beach, kayaking, or the movies.