NASW-CA’s 2020 Social Work Awards Ceremony will be held on Saturday, October 17th, during our Virtual Conference. The ceremony will be from 12:45pm – 1:30pm, in between Session A & B. This year’s recipients in the four categories are incredible advocates that have dedicated their careers to helping their respective communities. Find out more about each winner below!
Elizabeth Tarantini, LCSW – Social Worker of the Year
Elizabeth Tarantini, LCSW started her social work career as a post baccalaureate student at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) where she took a year to discover that she is a proud social worker. She received her masters degree at California State University, Long Beach and has been practicing largely in direct practice healthcare settings for 25 years. She began her teaching career at University of California Los Angeles’ David Geffen School of Medicine, System Based Healthcare program. After many years mentoring MSW interns in the field, Tarantini began teaching at CSUN’s MSW program. She continues to teach as well as supervise the clinical social work department at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital where she has been for the last eight years. Perinatal social work is dear to her heart and she has been able to partner with amazing nurses and leadership over the years to bring maternal mental health out of the shadows and into NICU settings and support programs in her community. She loves the profession more every year.
Robert Bray, PhD, LCSW – Lifetime Achievement
Robert Bray, PhD, LCSW has over 40 years of experience helping people be better – Skills and services include Crisis Intervention in all forms and In-depth Psychotherapy. 24 years using and teaching Thought Field Therapy for Callahan Techniques® Thought Field Therapy. He is the author of “Heal Traumatic Stress NOW- No Open Wounds- Complete Recovery with Thought Field Therapy.” He served as President of the Association of Traumatic Stress Specialist and president of the Association for Thought Field Therapy, has spent ten years as adjunct faculty at SDSU school of Social Work, is an approved Trainer for the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF), and is currently active in local and national response teams. He is the current Deputy Team Leader for the Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) San Bernardino (CA-2) National Disaster Medical System (NDMS). Also, Bray has served as a long time Red Cross volunteer. He continues his private practice specializing in trauma recovery and training and consulting in application of Thought Field Therapy. For more about Dr. Bray go to the www.rlbray.com “about” page.
Lori Hartwell – Public Citizen of the Year
Lori Hartwell has made a difference in the lives of people with chronic kidney disease. Living with kidney disease since age two, having survived 50 plus surgeries, 13 years of dialysis and now living with her fourth kidney transplant. In 1993, because of her struggle to find social and peer support to manage her condition, Lori founded the Renal Support Network (RSN) and coined the mottos “An illness is too demanding when you don’t have hope” and “One friend can make a difference” to reflect her belief that people can live joyfully despite having a chronic illness. Twenty-one years ago, RSN held the very first Renal Teen Prom for young people who have kidney disease.
The prom was inspired by Hartwell, who missed her own prom due to being on dialysis for all of her teenage years, and who didn’t want other teens to miss this coming of age event. Lori is the author of “Chronically Happy – Joyful Living in Spite of Chronic Illness,” an inspirational guidebook for handling lifestyle and numerous other non-medical issues that come up in the course of chronic disease. She also is the Host of “KidneyTalk” Podcast. Lori has been the keynote speaker at national events and has written for many publications including peer reviews articles. She is an influential patient voice in the kidney, dialysis and transplant community. In her spare time, she likes to paint and make jewelry and credits creativity as a big part of helping her cope with her illness. She lives in Glendale, CA, with her husband, 4 dogs, cat and African Grey parrot.
William S. Hart Union High School District – Organization of the Year
The William S. Hart Union High School District is located in the Santa Clarita Valley in the northern part of Los Angeles County and serves 7th through 12th grades. Nearly 23,000 students are enrolled in the district’s seven comprehensive high schools, a continuation school, middle college high school, independent study school, a home school support program, six junior high schools, an adult school and a Regional Occupational Program. The Hart School District boasts more than 90% of students going on to pursue a post-secondary education opportunities. The District’s dropout rate is less than 3%. Students receive more than $25 million in academic scholarships each year from colleges and universities throughout the country. The Hart School District Academic Performance Index score and fitness scores consistently rank in the top tier of districts of its size in Los Angeles County and the State of California.
Department of Counseling
In an effort to bridge the elusive divide between educational and home environments, a three-tiered interconnected counseling program (ERICS and DIS for special education students and School Based Counseling for general education students) were each developed to reach out to students, and by extension their parents and caregivers, struggling with social, emotional, and motivational challenges that impair academic participation and performance. Most recently, the Hart School District was awarded the coveted Golden Bell award for the Therapeutic Counseling Program at The Sequoia School. (http://awards.csba.org/winners_2019/therapeutic-program/)