A Career Switch Allows Social Worker to Make a Difference at Children’s Cardiology
She didn’t know it at the time, but Mariah Corcoran began her social work career as an Army brat growing up on military bases in Europe and the United States. Now a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Cardiology, she traces her passion for working with people back to the many times when she was the new kid in a strange environment. She learned how to build rapport quickly, establish meaningful relationships and adapt to diverse cultures and environments. She puts those skills to excellent use as an advocate and support for Children’s Cardiology patients and families.
Mariah spent the first few years of her career in the corporate setting as a pharmaceutical market research analyst but became interested in finding greater meaning in her work. She explored careers in healthcare, following the lead of her aunt, a midwife.
Mariah obtained her master’s degree in social work from the University of Chicago and served medically fragile children and their families as an inpatient NICU social worker for 15 years. Mariah worked at Children’s hospitals in Chicago, Philadelphia and Atlanta prior to making the shift to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Cardiology in 2021. Mariah draws upon these years of experience in ICU hospital settings to quickly identify needs and find solutions to best support Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Cardiology patients and their families.
“I have always been fascinated by people and their stories,” Mariah said. “It’s important as a social worker to be curious about people and start where they are to help improve outcomes in their lives. It is so rewarding to empower people to recognize their strengths and advocate for themselves and their children when extra help is needed. Supporting patients and their families during the most vulnerable and challenging times of their lives is very fulfilling and meaningful to me.”
Mariah’s role at Children’s Cardiology as an outpatient social worker allows her to help families navigate the healthcare system and the healthcare journey of patients after discharge from the hospital. Whether families are facing a new diagnosis or an ongoing chronic condition, Mariah is available to connect families with resources such as financial support, mental health support, home healthcare or supportive counseling to adjust to a new normal. She acts as a liaison to ensure continuity of care and anticipate unexpected challenges that may come up at home.
Mariah says that Children’s Cardiology is a special place with employees who are obviously passionate about their work. She said she is included as a valued member of the care team, and the team relies on her expertise and experience to provide the best care for patients and families.
“The Children’s Cardiology team feels very much like a family,” Mariah said. “It’s impressive to me that they carry on the tradition of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to not only provide great patient care but to go above and beyond in caring for each other. This has been a rough time in healthcare, and Children’s Cardiology has shown great dedication to their staff.”
Mariah said there are many different things she could be doing to make a living, but being a social worker allows her to make a difference. Even if the difference is a small one, it has great meaning to her and the families she serves and affirms her decision to switch gears in her career.
“We’re here to help and to answer questions,” Mariah said. “We want our families to reach out and know that they’re not alone. It’s our honor and privilege to make life a little easier if we can.”
For more information about Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Cardiology and our pediatric cardiology specialists, click here.