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Staff Spotlight: Stacey Asnani

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Social worker Stacey Asnani, MSW, LSCW, is the Duke ALS Clinic’s jack of all trades, helping to counsel ALS patients and their families, connecting patients with resources, and keeping the clinic connected and running. In this week’s Staff Spotlight interview, Asnani talks about her decade at the ALS clinic, the best and worst parts of her job, and what she enjoys most when she’s not at work.

How long have you been at Duke? How long have you been working with the ALS Clinic?
At Duke 12 years. Initially, I worked with the Movement Disorders, MDA and ALS Clinics. I have been in my current role with the ALS Clinic for 10 years.

What do you do within the ALS clinic? What does your typical workday look like?
I am both the coordinator and social worker for the clinic. This means that I have to be a jack of all trades. My typical day can include counseling a new family, grieving with one at the end of their journey with the disease, coordinating and facilitating referrals to a variety of support services, filling out forms, updating our website, supporting staff (even it is with fruit-infused water & candy, as those who have visited/worked with us know!), writing letters for everything from medically necessary equipment to requesting expedited visas for families to visit their loved ones, submitting grant reports, preparing for clinic or working on all of the loose ends from clinic. That’s just to name a few. All in a day’s work.

What do you enjoy most about your work?
This is tough work, so there have to be things that I enjoy. Our amazing clinic team is like family – not only do we work together, but we laugh together, cry together, celebrate together and (believe it or not) have tons of fun doing it. We get to know our families well over the course of their time with us and, as a result, have had the pleasure of working with some extraordinary people. What we do truly does make a difference in the lives of those we care for and, even though we cannot make the disease go away (yet!), there is still so much that can be done to improve the quality of their lives and support them throughout their journey. 

What’s the hardest part of your job?
When people ask me what I do, their response after I tell them is typically “that must be so hard.” The reality is that everything we do is hard and we encounter challenges every day. You have to embrace the challenges to make a difference.

What’s one thing that you know about Rick Bedlack that no one else does?
Would Robin tell on Batman??? My lips are sealed.

What passions or hobbies do you have outside of the Department?
The nature of my job reminds me every day that work/life balance is incredibly important and that time is precious. When not at work I can be found with my husband & kids, watching or playing football, talking superheroes & sports cars, caring for our elementary school’s farmyard animals, enjoying all things Harry Potter, building Legos, reading & travel.

Asnani usually watches football but does pick up a pigskin now and then.