Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Social Work Is All Around Us.

Hello All,

Over the weekend I attended two events that continually demonstrate to me the omnipresence and value of social work's impact in our communities. On Friday May 7, I attended the Annual Massachusetts Public Health Association's Awards Breakfast honoring 4 individuals whose contributions to promoting Public Health initiatives won them the award. The MPHA is the state's primary public health advocacy and education organization, championing policies that protect our communities, workplaces and environment. Two of the three award recipients- Harold Cox, MSW Associate Dean of Public Heath Practice, Boston University and Frances Anthes, President and CEO, Family Health Center of Worcester, graduated from Schools of Social Work. The third award recipient, Frank Robinson, Director of Community Heath Planning, Baystate Heath was introduced as someone who had done years of social work in the community, even though he had not attended a school of social work. Any way you look at it, all three award recipients were 'official' MSWs or wanted to be associated with the profession of social work through their introductions. Three out of three in an area of practice where there are many other degrees that are highly recognized. I was impressed and proud. Social Work was celebrated that morning.

Then, Saturday evening I stepped out to attend the international premier of an NASW supported, and sold out documentary film, Gen Silent, by award winning director Stu Maddux. Gen Silent uncovers the 'invisible and growing community of LGBT seniors as a way of educating a wide range of audiences about LGBT aging and caregiving. The movie was filmed in Boston and features the stories of 4 extraordinary LGBT couples and individuals as they face the challenges of aging in a society that does not fully accept them or their caregivers. The idea for this documentary came from the film maker and an exemplary social worker who happens to be the Co-Chair of the MA Chapter's LGBT Shared Interest Group, Lisa Krinsky. As the Executive Director of the LGBT Aging Project in Massachusetts Ms. Krinsky shepherded this idea from a concept to a moving and masterful reality. The film also featured social workers as the backbone of the services and support for many of the individuals in the movie. Social Work again was in the limelight this weekend.

I am so proud to be in the company of these amazing people and to be part of the social work community.

Carol Trust

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