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Arizona State University Professor Flavio Marisiglia is recipient of Knee/Wittman Lifetime Achievement Award


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Association of Social Workers Foundation (NASWF) is pleased to announce Arizona State University Regent’s Professor Flavio F. Marsiglia will receive a Knee/Wittman Lifetime Achievement Award for his internationally recognized work in preventing substance abuse by school students and ending health disparities among minority groups. 

“The NASW Foundation is proud to present this award to Professor Marsiglia,” said NASWF Director Robert Arnold. “He is a master at using solid social work research to work with communities, organizations and other partners to address pressing social issues, especially those that affect underserved populations such as people who are Native American or Latino.” 

The Knee/Wittman Awards recognize individuals who are models of excellence and have made significant contributions in the field of health and mental health. The Knee/Wittman Award Program was established in 1990 to recognize those who represent the values, ethics, and approaches exemplified by two dedicated social work pioneers, Ruth Knee and Milton Wittman.   

The Knee/Wittman Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a professional social worker who, over the course of his/her career, has made an exemplary contribution to health/mental health practice.

Professor Marsiglia, PhD, MSW, fully embodies the spirit for which this award is intended. His early work as a school social worker prompted him to collaborate with colleagues in the creation of keepin’ itREAL, a substance abuse program targeting middle school students. 

The initiative, initially funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has been adapted across the United States as well as Mexico, Guatemala, Uruguay and Spain. Professor Marsiglia also spearheaded the design and testing of Families Preparing the Next Generation (FPNG), a parenting program to prevent youth substance use.  FPNG in turn was adapted with the urban American Indian community, becoming Parenting in Two Worlds (P2W).  The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) and NIDA have consistently funded his research program for the last 22 years.  

Professor Marsiglia has conducted rigorous research that has had an impact on global health outcomes. As director of the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center (SIRC) and now the Global Center for Applied Health Research (GCHAR), he has led a team of transdisciplinary researchers. Their efforts have resulted in numerous adaptations of their interventions to different social and cultural contexts in the US and globally.  

Professor Marsiglia and colleagues have led projects ranging from the treatment and prevention of co-occurring disorders in Latinos and family acculturation studies, to addressing obesity and diabetes in Latino populations, to improving interconception care for Latina mothers and medication adherence for people living with schizophrenia. And GCHAR is forging research partnerships that are extending Marsiglia’s health equity research to Africa, Asia, Europe and other countries in Latin America. 

“Professor Marsiglia has made invaluable contributions to health, mental health and substance abuse research, education, policy and practice,” Arnold said. “And he has been truly exceptional in using his research to make life better for others.”  

Go here for more information on the Knee/Wittman Awards. 

The National Association of Social Workers Foundation (NASWF) is a charitable organization created to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through the advancement of social work practice.

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