In Brief: February / March 2023

Albright Appointed to Serve on VA Rural Health Committee

David L. Albright

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs has appointed social worker David L. Albright to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans’ Rural Health Advisory Committee.

Albright, PhD, MSW, is the university distinguished research professor and the Hill Crest Foundation Endowed Chair in Mental Health Research at The University of Alabama.

The federal committee is tasked with providing advice to the secretary on ways to improve and enhance access to health care services for veterans residing in rural areas. Almost one-fourth of all veterans in the U.S. live in rural areas, with the VA allocating 32 percent of its health care budget to rural veteran care. “I believe that having the voice of Alabama veterans on this committee is very important in addressing their health care concerns and needs,” Albright said in a statement from the school.

The Veterans’ Rural Health Advisory Committee comprises 12 appointed members and three ex-officio members assigned by the Secretary of the VA. Members include rural health experts in academia, rural health professionals, state directors of Veterans Affairs, leaders of Veterans Service Organizations, and rural veterans. Members serve an initial three-year term, and the secretary may reappoint members for an additional term of service.

Golden Named APHA Public Health Social Worker of the Year

Robyn Golden, MA, LCSW

The American Public Health Association recognized NASW member Robyn Golden, MA, LCSW, Rush University associate vice president of Social Work and Community Health, with its 2022 Insley-Evans Public Health Social Worker award, an announcement from the school says.

In addition to leading Rush’s community-facing social work programs, Golden also is an assistant professor of Medicine, Nursing, Psychiatry and Health Systems Management, and chairperson of the Department of Social Work in the Rush College of Health Sciences.

“For me, this award means that social workers are being recognized in the public health space,” Golden said in a statement. “This is so critical, in terms of health equity. If we don’t have social workers at the table, we just do not have everything we need. We need to look at the whole picture and not let people fall through the cracks. Social workers are often the only voice for the communities we serve. And addressing health equity is at our core.”

The Insley-Evans Public Health Social Worker award is named for two leaders in the field, Virginia Insley and Juanita Evans, who both played significant roles in the founding of public health social work education, research and services.

Wanczyk-Karp Named Among Top Lobbyist in the Nation

Steve Wanczyk-Karp

Steve Wanczyk-Karp, executive director of the NASW Connecticut Chapter, was named one of the top 100 lobbyists of the year by the National Institute for Lobbying & Ethics. According to NILE, after a seven-week nomination process that saw overwhelming submissions, 100 individuals were chosen from across the nation. The 2022 designees represent associations, nonprofits, small firms, large firms, and corporations. Everyone chosen showed significant 2022 success, took an innovative approach to their field, and demonstrated commitment to giving back to their community, as well as adherence to the highest ethical standards. Nominations are evaluated blindly by fellow lobbyists to ensure receiving the honor of Top Lobbyist is 100% merit-based.

“In my 30 plus years of policy work, 2022 was by far the most successful in the legislative arena,” Wanczyk-Karp said. “The pandemic made policymakers realize the importance and value of social workers. My work allowed me to expand the roles of social workers and advance social issues. This is what I most appreciate about my profession, being able to work for both social work practice and social justice.”

cover of February / March 2023 issue

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