Foundation Announces 2013 Knee/Wittman, Sarnat Awards

he NASW Foundation has announced the recipients of the Knee/Wittman and the International Rhoda G. Sarnat awards for 2013.

Knee/Wittman Lifetime Achievement: Charles Glisson

Charles GlissonThis award recognizes a professional social worker who, over the course of his or her career, has made an exemplary contribution to health/mental health practice and who has spent at least 25 years in the field, whether currently active or retired.

Glisson is the Founding Director of the Children’s Mental Health Services Research Center at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and he has been named Chancellor’s Professor, the highest honor that is given to a UTK faculty member. According to Glisson’s nomination by Karen M. Sowers, dean and professor at UTK, Glisson was the first researcher to empirically link social and mental health service outcomes to the social contexts and work environments of the organizations where the services are provided.

He has been a leader in developing and testing strategies for assessing and improving service system social contexts and work environments to support the implementation of effective service. His work has been featured in reports of the U.S. Surgeon General, the National Advisory Mental Health Council and the National Institute of Mental Health. He has directed NIMH-funded interdisciplinary research teams for more than 20 years that have included clinical psychologists, sociologists, physicians, industrial and organizational psychologists, biostatisticians, economists, educational psychologists, and other disciplines.

Knee/Wittman Outstanding Achievement: Robert Connolly

Robert ConnollyThis award recognizes an individual or group that has had a significant impact on national health and/or mental health public policy, professional standards, or exemplary program models. Award nominees can include both social workers and non-social workers.

Connolly, an NASW Social Work Pioneer®, is being recognized for his extensive contributions in health care, Medicare and Medicaid Public Policy, and for his quality measurement improvements in long-term care. He has more than 46 years of experience, including 14 years of clinical social work experience, and has worked to improve social work nationally in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

In a recommendation made by Bernice Harper — the first recipient of the Knee/Wittman Award for Outstanding Achievement, given in 1990 — Ruth Irelan Knee was proud of the professional contributions Connolly made in nursing homes and long-term care programs, and for his research in national policy development areas.

International Rhoda G. Sarnat: Sen. Barbara Mikulski

Barbara MikulskiThis award is a monetary prize given to an individual, group or organization that has significantly advanced the public image of professional social work.

Mikulski, D-Md., who also is a social worker, is a strong advocate for issues of importance to the social work profession and is the longest-serving woman in the U. S. Congress.

She has been a champion of legislation that is important to the social work profession and to NASW, including supporting the National Center for Social Work Research Act and championing the Clinical Social Work Medicare Equity Act in several congresses. Mikulski also introduced the Dorothy I. Height and Whitney M. Young Jr. Social Work Reinvestment Act in the Senate in the 110th Congress. Mikulski said her experiences as a social worker and activist have provided valuable lessons that she draws on as a senator, and she believes her constituents have a right to know, a right to be heard and a right to be represented.