Spotlight (June 2014)

Douglas BrooksNASW member Douglas Brooks in March was appointed director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy.

As the director of ONAP, Brooks will lead the Obama administration’s work to reduce new HIV infections, improve health outcomes for people living with HIV, and eliminate HIV health disparities in the United States.

A leading HIV/AIDS policy expert, Brooks most recently served as senior vice president for Community, Health and Public Policy at the Justice Resource Institute.

“Douglas’ policy expertise combined with his extensive experience working in the community makes him uniquely suited to the task of helping to achieve the goal of an AIDS-free generation, which is within our reach,” President Obama said. “I look forward to having him lead our efforts from the White House.”

Enrico DeGironimoThe New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies honored NASW national board member Enrico DeGironimo in April with the Outstanding Leader in Mental Healthcare Services Award.

DeGironimo is the executive director of Ocean Partnership for Children.

Deborah Megaro, president of the NJAMHAA board of directors, stated that during his 30-plus year career, DeGironimo launched several programs for various populations.

She noted that a few of his proudest accomplishments are helping to develop a program for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in 1981; and assisting to launch the first comprehensive community-based treatment program for individuals with traumatic brain injury, also at the university, in 1986.

In addition, DeGironimo served as the original incorporator and founding trustee for the Housing Coalition of New Jersey, a fair housing center, and started New Jersey operations for National Mentor, the first national behavioral health company, in 1991. He also served as its first state director. He led the quality turnarounds of Community Hope and Developmental Resource Corporation and the startup of Ocean Partnership for Children.

Debbie StabenowNASW Social Work Pioneer® and U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., was among several people honored with the Commitment to Service Award in April by Give an Hour, a national nonprofit organization that provides free mental health services to members of the military, veterans, and their families.

Stabenow was honored for her commitment to improving access to care, for her willingness to reach across the aisle, and her ability to create a coalition of support, according to Give an Hour. She also was recognized for her willingness to share her personal story, which complements the organization’s efforts to change the conversation about mental health in America.

Robin MamaRobin Mama, dean of the School of Social Work at Monmouth University, chairwoman of the NASW International Committee and representative of the International Federation of Social Workers at the United Nations, was nominated by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to serve on the New Jersey Advisory Commission on the Status of Women.

The NJACSW is an adviser to the New Jersey Division on Women, and advocates for New Jersey women of all races and creeds by addressing the critical concerns and issues confronting New Jersey women.

The 11-member commission makes recommendations to the division regarding policies and programs; provides technical assistance to county and municipal commissions on women; assists in the formation of commissions; and co-sponsors several events with the Division on Women.

Richard GelulaThe National Consumer Voice for Quality Long Term Care (formerly the National Citizens Coalition for Nursing Home Reform) announced social worker Richard Gelula as its new executive director.

In this role, he directs the operations of the organization, leads fundraising and strategic planning efforts, liaises with the governing board and represents Consumer Voice in advocacy efforts for long-term care consumers.

Gelula joins the Consumer Voice following experiences as an executive of several nonprofit health organizations and as a consultant to dozens of others.