National Social Worker Month Spotlight: Esperanza "Hopee" Hernandez

March 30, 2023 by Morningside Ministries

Hopee recently joined the Morningside team in February of 2023 and is a social worker at the Manor for the Meadows community. She is originally from Andrews, TX, a small town in West Texas, and did her undergraduate studies at Angelo State University in San Angelo, TX. While at Angelo State, she first started majoring in psychology but found that she much preferred social work, so switched to that major instead and received a BA in Social Work. She also has her master’s through a hybrid program at Our Lady of the Lake University. She is a Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker (LBSW).

Hopee has eight years of experience working with the geriatric population. Her first social work jobs out of university were with corporate nursing homes in long-term care and skilled nursing. She also did a six-month field placement at a psychiatric hospital and has experience working in hospice as well. Morningside is her first not-for-profit senior living organization, which she much prefers as there is less bureaucracy and a focus on residents as individuals, not revenue. With her new position at the Manor, she feels that everyone has been so welcoming.

Based on her experience working with older adults, she has observed that the skilled nursing population keeps getting younger, with more 45- to 55-year-old referrals, especially with Alzheimer’s and cognition diagnoses. She is also experienced in observing behavioral and psychological changes in the early stages of Alzheimer’s among older adults, having worked in memory care. Our residents are in excellent care with a highly trained, compassionate social worker like Hopee.

Moving from the tumbleweeds and plains of West Texas to the urban city center of San Antonio was a change, but so far Hopee says she has very much enjoyed living in the Alamo City with her husband and pets. Hopee is also a very family-oriented individual, and a homebody who enjoys spending time with her husband, her two dogs Scrappy and Shy Girl, and her cat Batman. She adores her two stepchildren, her three nephews, and her niece. She is very close to her father, whom she always goes to for advice, and considers herself a Daddy’s Girl. She is also a middle child and close to both her older brother (who gave her the name Hopee as a family nickname) and her younger sister. She loves taking the time to travel and visiting family.