Licensure: Oregon Board of Licensed Social Workers
Education: MSW – Portland State University, Portland, OR
Internships: DHS Child Welfare, Gresham, OR & Oregon Health & Science University (adult and pediatric emergency department), Portland, OR
Physical and emotional health and well-being are more interconnected and interrelated than we used to think. With this in mind, I work collaboratively with our pediatricians to support families and children through difficult times with the goal of better and more sustainable positive outcomes. I love watching children and families grow and enjoy helping them work through and integrate their life experiences as part of the fabric of their lives.”– Sarah Parnell, LCSW
Since childhood, Sarah has known she wanted to help people. Her parents taught her to take the quiet and more vulnerable kids “under her wing,” befriend them, and help them out at school. She has always enjoyed standing with people, learning from others and hearing their life stories, and seeing how our individual family systems play into our behaviors, beliefs, and personalities along with our own individual qualities.
With a 13-year background in crisis work through child welfare and then OHSU’s emergency department, Sarah has helped many families and children during their most difficult times and has seen the trauma they have endured, both acutely and multi-generationally. She has also had the privilege of hearing and seeing how resilient and strong people are and observing their unique, individual ways of overcoming – working with and through – what life has thrown at them.
As time went on, Sarah felt the pull toward more preventive care and decided to move into pediatric social work. Using a strengths-based, trauma-informed approach to support parents, caregivers, and children, Sarah assists individuals in making changes that will help them live their best lives. Recognizing this means different things to everyone, Sarah works with people to truly understand what they want in life and help them find their own unique path to get there. Life isn’t easy and nothing comes with a one-size-fits-all solution, just as children do not come with a book of instructions. Sarah works to find options for people in each of their life situations via a comprehensive, full-person approach, which is why integrated behavioral health care is an important piece of the primary care experience.
Sarah works closely with the medical team, educators, and other important people in children’s lives as these things all tend to be connected with a child’s health and well-being.
When she is not working, Sarah enjoys spending time with her husband, son, and their 12-year-old labradoodle who still acts like a puppy. Sarah is always looking for a new adventure: a new hike, a new waterfall to find, or a new place to explore. She loves to travel and do crafts as her art skills (or lack thereof) are on par with a small child.
Thank you for choosing Metropolitan Pediatrics as your child’s Medical Home! Our physicians and staff are pleased to have the opportunity to build a relationship with you, your child, and family.