For the media

Patient’s grateful daughter donates to Sharp

By The Health News Team | March 1, 2024
Adrianna Genera-Wurst, Desiree Lopez and Rebecca Adams at Sharp Grossmont Hospital

L to R: Adrianna Genera-Wurst, Desiree Lopez and Rebecca Adams (seated) pose with their Guardian Angel awards.

Caring for an aging parent can be stressful, particularly if they are living with mental and physical illnesses. For Julie*, this meant navigating the unknowns of caring for a mother living with schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease.

Since Julie was in college, her mother, Gloria*, lived with schizophrenia.

“We had a close relationship, but it was different from other relationships because she was ill,” recalls Julie. “Her illness in her later years, both physical and mental, limited what we could do, but we still very much loved each other.”

As time passed, Gloria would be in and out of the hospital. “When her medications were regulated, everything was good, and she was stable for most of my life,” says Julie.

However, in the spring of 2022, when Gloria was 82, Julie and her stepfather noticed Gloria’s condition became more difficult to manage, even with her medications.

“We worked with her psychiatrist to change some of the dosages, or to try different medications,” says Julie. “Either the medications were not working, she stopped taking them, or it was a combination of the two.”

Gloria’s struggle with schizophrenia caused her to have delusions and paranoia. Despite the love, patience and support from her family, Gloria’s behaviors had taken a toll on Julie and her stepfather. They needed more help.

Recognizing the need for skilled nursing

That summer, Gloria was admitted as an inpatient to Sharp Grossmont Hospital for Behavioral Health.

Due to the complexities of dealing with both schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease, Julie realized her stepfather would not be able to care for Gloria at home. So once she stabilized and with her care team’s guidance, Gloria was transferred to a skilled nursing facility.

“While having a love one transition out of their home to a higher level of care can feel like a loss, in the end, this was as best of a success we could have,” says Adrianna Genera-Wurst, a licensed clinical social worker with Sharp Grossmont Hospital for Behavioral Health. Genera-Wurst, along with Desiree Lopez, a social worker, and Rebecca Adams, a lead clinical nurse, engaged closely with Gloria’s family to make sure their needs were met.

“Gloria was in a safe new home,” says Genera-Wurst. “Her family could remain involved and visit her daily. And it wasn't a financial strain on them.”

The importance of compassionate care

Julie praises her mother’s behavioral health care team who helped walk Julie through the steps of identifying a nursing home that would be appropriate for her mother and advocating for her so she could get the unique care she needed. The team also advised Julie on financial planning related to her mother’s care.

“The whole experience was eye-opening in terms of what it takes to care for aging parents these days,” says Julie. “Care is so expensive, and sometimes you just don’t know what to do or where to turn. That’s why I was so grateful for the care my mom received. The staff went above and beyond, even helping us learn how to get her on MediCal.”

Gloria’s behavioral health care team also helped arrange transportation from the nursing home to the outpatient clinic at Sharp Grossmont Hospital for Behavioral Health, where Gloria could receive her monthly medication injections.

“Adrianna, Rebecca and Desiree were all kind, compassionate and helpful to me and my mother,” says Julie.

Acknowledging an extraordinary level of care

When Gloria passed away a year later due to complications from Parkinson’s disease, Julie felt a deep gratitude for the extraordinary level of care her mother had received. Determined to express her appreciation, she turned to Grossmont Hospital Foundation's Guardian Angel program.

“When I would go with my mom to the outpatient clinic for her injections, I would sit with her for three hours while she was under observation,” says Julie. “While sitting, I noticed the Guardian Angel donation form in the room. I had intended to complete this, but never got around to it.”

Julie eventually made a gift to Grossmont Hospital Foundation. “I wanted the ladies who cared for my mom to be recognized for the way they navigated and cared for her with such care and grace,” she says.

The Guardian Angel program serves as a way for patients and their family members to express gratitude and support for health care professionals who go above and beyond in caring for their patients. Through donations made in honor of these remarkable individuals, the program not only recognizes their contributions but also provides essential resources to further enhance patient care and support initiatives within the hospital.

Months after caring for her mom, and after her mother's passing, Julie reflects on her experience.

“As challenging as it was, I found it a privilege I could help my mom,” says Julie. “I am blessed to have helped — and that I lived close enough to help.”

Julie also recognizes the selflessness of her stepdad and the “amazing” care and compassion he gave Gloria. And she continues to be awed by the care Lopez, Adams and Genera-Wurst provided.

“They were genuinely caring, sweet and willing to take the time to help us,” Julie says. “I really appreciate that so much.”

*Some names in this article have been changed.

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Adrianna Genera-Wurst

Adrianna Genera-Wurst


Adrianna Genera-Wurst is a licensed clinical social worker with Sharp Grossmont Hospital for Behavioral Health.

Desiree Lopez

Desiree Lopez


Desiree Lopez is a licensed clinical social worker with Sharp Grossmont Hospital for Behavioral Health.

Rebecca Adams

Rebecca Adams


Rebecca Adams is a lead clinical nurse with Sharp Grossmont Hospital for Behavioral Health.

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