The multiple social and psychological triggers in persons with a chronic illness Demands attention that includes both concrete and supportive services. Social workers have the opportunity to collaborate with other team members to help patients optimize their full potential in the face of a chronic and potentially life-limiting disorder. The social worker must be able to assist patients and families to cope with the chronicity of bleeding disorders, the effects of HIV/HepC, Infertility, Chrone disease, Asthma and all the rest. Providing ongoing rather than curative treatment can be challenging for the treatment team, but it is the backdrop against which social workers can form uniquely close relationships with patients and with colleagues on the treatment team. The social worker acts as an advocate on behalf of patients and their families, empowering them to be effective partners in managing their own care.