Spotlight (April 2015)

The U.S. Department of Defense named Keita M. Franklin as the new director of the DoD Suicide Prevention Office. The DoD said this action marks the elevation of DSPO leadership to a career senior executive service position and reinforces the department’s commitment to decreasing the incidence of suicide and increasing resiliency across the armed forces.

“I am very pleased to have Dr. Franklin take the lead in this very important mission,” Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Jessica Wright said in a statement.

Franklin, a licensed clinical social worker, has a Ph.D. in social work from Virginia Commonwealth University. Most recently, Franklin was behavioral health branch head at Headquarters Marine Corps, charged with leading five behavioral health programs, including suicide prevention.

Sondra J. FogelThe Alliance for Strong Families and Communities appointed NASW member Sondra J. Fogel (photo right) as editor of its journal, “Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services,” which is one of the nation’s oldest and most highly regarded scholarly publications on family-centered social work.

First published in 1920, the family and community social work journal has a long-standing focus on person-centered, asset-based approaches to practice and policy.

Currently an associate professor in the School of Social Work at the University of South Florida, Fogel also serves as founding director of special programs for the USF Honors College. She holds a Ph.D. in social work from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a master’s degree from Columbia University School of Social Work. She maintains direct-practice expertise through her licensure as a clinical social worker and as a qualified supervisor in Florida.

Fogel has been a member of the NASW Delegate Assembly and contributed to policy statements for “Social Work Speaks,” which guides NASW’s advocacy efforts in social policy.

Three social workers were among the 45 new members named to the National Academy of Social Insurance, bringing the total membership to more than 1,000.

Diana PearceThey are Diana Pearce (photo right), a senior lecturer at the University of Washington School of Social Work and director of the Center for Women’s Welfare; Michelle Putnam, associate professor and associate dean for research at Simmons School of Social Work; and Ann Widger, director of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Retirees.

The three join at least nine other social workers already serving on the NASI, including NASW’s New Hampshire Chapter Executive Director Steve Gorin.

Academy members are recognized experts in Social Security, Medicare and health coverage, workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance or related social assistance, and private-employee benefits.

Members volunteer their time to study panels, advisory committees and conferences, and they participate in NASI’s other research, education, communication and leadership development initiatives.

The third annual Social Work Hospice & Palliative Care Network General Assembly, presented in conjunction with the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association General Assembly, honored several NASW members in February. They are:

  • Judith R. Peres, director of the Improving End-of-Life Care Project at the Pew Charitable Trust Project on Death in America, received the Career Achievement Award.
  • Gary Gardia, hospice care expert and consultant, received the Award of Excellence in Professional Education and Training.
  • Colleen Mulkerin, clinical social worker at Hartford Hospital and director of the hospital’s Palliative Medicine Consult Service, as well as director of the Department of Social Work, received the Award for Excellence in Professional Practice, Education and Research.
  • Deborah Waldrop, professor and the associate dean for faculty development at the University at Buffalo School of Social Work, received the Award for Excellence in Research.
  • Dot Landis, a clinical social worker and psychotherapist with the Palliative Care Program at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, received the Award for Excellence in Professional Practice.
  • Frances Eichholz Heller, senior social worker on the Palliative Care Consult Service at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University Medical Center, and faculty member at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, received the Award for Excellence in Professional Practice.
  • Kate Shoemaker, licensed social worker on the palliative care team at the University of Kansas Hospital, received the Emerging Leader in Professional Practice Award.
  • Les Gallo-Silver, associate professor of health sciences at LaGuardia Community College, City University of New York, and the program director of human services, received the Award for Excellence in Professional Education.

Mark SmithNASW member and Iowa House Minority Leader Mark Smith survived a challenge from a freshman member of his caucus in 2014 to win a full term as spokesman for the House Democrats.

According to an article published in the Gazette in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Smith is a Marshalltown social worker and former director of special projects at the Substance Abuse Treatment Unit of Central Iowa. He told the Gazette it was an honor to be chosen to lead the caucus, which convened in January.

“With four new members and a diverse caucus, we’re ready to work together in January to improve the lives of regular people and build a strong middle class,” Smith was quoted as saying in the article.

He became minority leader in August 2013 when Rep. Kevin McCarthy resigned to join the staff of the Iowa attorney general.

Smith leads a caucus of 43 Democrats, while Republicans hold a 57-member majority.

Wendy MaltzNASW member Wendy Maltz received the Carnes Award from the Society for Advancement of Sexual Health for her outstanding work in the field of sexual addiction.

Patrick Carnes presented the award at last year’s SASH National Conference in Portland, Ore. Carnes described Maltz as a pioneer who “was one of the first of all of us to really see the significance of cybersex and its impact on sexual health.” He credits Maltz for helping bridge various sexual health and treatment communities with the sex addict recovery communities.

Maltz’s career as a sex and relationship therapist spans 40 years. She is an established authority on sexual-abuse healing, pornography-addiction recovery, women’s sexual fantasies and developing intimacy-based sexuality.