Maria Lorenzo has seen many changes in HIV/AIDS care during her 31 years in the field. But one thing hasn’t changed—the gratitude of the residents she cares for. Maria never tires of hearing residents who are ready for discharge tell her, “Thank you for being here.”
Social work is a natural fit for Maria, who always knew she wanted a career helping people. After earning a Bachelor of Social Work from New Jersey City University, Maria worked at Christ Hospital in Jersey City and St. Michael’s Medical Center in Newark before accepting a position at Broadway House for Continuing Care. In the beginning, there were no treatments for those living with HIV/AIDS. She still remembers the first treatment regimen—consisting of between 20 and 30 pills a day—and the side effects it caused: “Early on, I experienced a lot of death. Through the years, I have seen firsthand how much science has progressed.”
Broadway House has always had a reputation for providing excellent care for society’s most vulnerable people, largely because of the skill and dedication of employees like Maria. She has demonstrated unwavering dedication to helping our residents rebuild their lives. Recently certified as a Medical Case Manager, she now works with residents to coordinate medical care, provide supportive counseling, navigate complex social services, and address challenging behaviors as a result of substance abuse or mental health issues.
As a veteran in the field, Maria understands the value of teamwork in caring for Broadway House residents. She says, “I work alongside a dedicated and amazing team. We’re always checking in on one another. It is vital in a long-term care environment to feel supported.”
Yet, Maria saves her biggest accolades for her clients: “Of course, my favorite part of the job is knowing I have connected with the residents and helped them to the point of planning their discharge. That is the culmination of everything I do at Broadway House. Hearing them say thank you gives me the best feeling. That validation from the residents is very rewarding.”