Alabama public health social workers honored with statewide awards


CONTACT: Renae Carpenter
(334) 206-5226
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Kelly Clark of the Etowah County Health Department and Dianne Mangum of the Autauga County Health Department were selected as Public Health Social Workers of the Year for 2017. Awarded the honor of Social Work Manager of the Year was Deborah Leigh Dixon of the Clarke County Health Department. The three recipients were recognized March 15 at the Public Health Social Work Celebration and Training held in Montgomery during National Social Work Month.

Nominators for the Public Health Social Worker of the Year award said Ms. Clark "has a gift of service," and described her as "the blueprint for what the modern social worker should be." Her deep passion for helping and educating the public is illustrated by her teaching of parenting classes for nearly 1,000 parents for Mental Health America. Beloved by patients and staff alike, they praised her "impeccable rapport" and "competent confidence that establishes trust."

Ms. Mangum was acknowledged for her “positive spirit, strong work ethic, and beautiful smile” and for being “a team player who recognizes our strengths are greater when we work together.” She serves on the Children’s Policy Council in Autauga County and works with other disciplines to educate young schoolchildren on diet and health. Coworkers praised her for putting the needs of the patients first and her “ability to think through issues presented and offer constructive, valuable feedback.”

Ms. Dixon was commended for her "sincere compassion" and "genuine heart to help meet the needs of others." Nominators wrote that she has “an optimistic attitude in spite of challenges," and "exceeds all expectations when performing her duties." An active church member, she is a mentor for young girls, president of the Junior Women’s Club, and assists directly with the Distinguished Young Woman of the Year Program. She also serves on the Friends of the Library Committee for the Washington County Public Library, which aids in funding literacy programs for adolescents, and contributes to the Washington Baptist Association to assist with purchasing food and paying utility bills for those in need.

Public health social workers provide intervention services to help clients discover ways of meeting their needs and preventing future problems. Clients they serve may be children, families, elderly persons, and persons with functional and access needs.