Dr. Patricia Findley attributes her desire to be in a career that can impact people’s well-being through healthcare and social justice to her grandparents. For 26 years, they operated an ambulance service in a community outside of Denver, Colorado where Findley saw the tremendous influence they made on people’s lives. Findley is now an associate professor and MSW campus coordinator for the School of Social Work at the Newark Campus, and Special Assistant to the Dean for Interprofessional Health Initiatives. Her diverse work positively impacts many others.
Findley has been a long-standing faculty member at the School of Social Work. She says, “I love Rutgers. Everyone here works hard, but likes to have a good time. I like to think we keep the ‘social’ in ‘social work’.”
As a professor, Findley has taught many courses including: Intervention Research, Practice I, Research I, Chronic Illness and Disability, and Social Welfare Policy and Services I. Of those courses, her favorite is the one that she designed herself, Chronic Illness and Disability. Findley created a course to teach students exactly what they needed to know to work in the world as a health social worker. Her qualifications for designing this course come from a background in working as a medical social worker and studying health, specifically cancer survivorship and disabilities.
Findley serves as a dissertation chair and former professor to student, Katie Findley, who admires her by saying, “Dr. Findley is a dedicated and balanced mentor, she pushes me to achieve, but also gives me the space to learn and take risks.”
Although she loves teaching, one of her favorite positions is her current one as the Special Assistant to the Dean for Interprofessional Health Initiatives. Findley is using her health background to provide a social worker’s voice about merging with the Rutgers Biomedical Health Sciences program. She has the opportunity to educate students studying to be physicians, dentists, and pharmacists about a social work perspective to health care.
Findley says, “Social work is dynamic. I try to keep my research in pace with how patient care is changing. The Affordable Care Act is changing how we work with patients. So, it is great to be a part of building Rutgers Health policies and programming during this time.”
Findley’s hard work, passion, and dedication do not go unnoticed. “She has an unwavering faith in my ability to take what I have learned at Rutgers and create positive change and I also have this faith because she has prepared me for what is to come. Any student would be lucky to be mentored by Dr. Findley,” says Katie Findley.