Two social workers, a judge and a congressman are being recognized as the recipients of the NASW National Awards for 2012.
The four annual awards are given to social workers, public citizens and public elected officials who have made significant contributions to society.
“NASW is proud to honor the selfless service these individuals have given to some of the most vulnerable members of our society,” said NASW President Jeane Anastas. “Their work demonstrates the positive impact that social workers, citizens and public officials who support social work causes can make. They have made this world a better place.”
» 2012 National Award Recipients Videos
Social Worker of the Year
Karon Konner, a clinical social worker at Massachusetts General Hospital, has been a social worker for more than 11 years. She is committed to working with the most vulnerable patients in her current position and was selected to join a specialized interdisciplinary team at MGH. The initiative follows a select group of disenfranchised and marginalized patients to ensure they receive optimal care and discharge plans. Konner also works on the MGH disaster team and has spent time in Indonesia, Louisiana and Haiti after the respective natural disasters in those areas and provided mental health services to the affected residents. Her colleagues say she is a mentor, while at the same time open to learning.
Raymond Monsour Scurfield
An NASW member since 1967, Raymond Monsour Scurfield is professor emeritus at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast campus. Scurfield has 45 years of social work experience and is internationally and nationally known for his expertise in post-traumatic stress disorder, and for being an educator and innovative therapy and program developer. Scurfield has received 15 awards for scholarship, teaching and service, including the 2006 Mississippi NASW Chapter Social Worker of the Year award and being named a “Hero of Katrina” by the University of Southern Mississippi in recognition of his assistance and leadership role in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He also is dedicated to helping veterans and their families, and he received the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Special Achievement Award in recognition of his work on a national epidemiological study of veterans of the Vietnam War era at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Public Citizen of the Year
The Honorable Jeffrey B. Ford
Jeffrey Ford is founder of the Champaign County (Ill.) Adult Drug Court, where he has served for the last 13 years. In his prior position as associate circuit judge in he 6th Circuit Court of Illinois, Ford presided over the Champaign County Traffic Court, and started an initiative to learn about substance abuse and addiction issues related to driving while under the influence.
Ford used the knowledge he gained to create effective sentencing procedures that address the underlying substance abuse issues of the defendant while keeping the community safe.
The Champaign County Adult Drug Court is recognized as one of the most successful drug courts in the state of Illinois. Under Ford’s direction, it has given defendants the opportunity to get the treatment they need for their substance abuse issues.
Public Elected Official of the Year
Rep. Lloyd Doggett
Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, is committed to advocating for equity and social justice in the state of Texas and across the U.S., with a special focus on helping low-income, disadvantaged, elderly and youth populations.
Doggett has received the American Bar Association’s Justice Award for his work on legislation that provides funding for legal services to the disadvantaged; AARP’s 2008 Legislative Achievement Award for his leadership on Medicare; and the Public Interest Research Group’s Public Interest Champion for his strong defense of consumer rights.
The recipients of the 2012 awards will be recognized at the NASW Annual Leadership Meeting this month.