Alabama public health social workers honored with statewide awards


CONTACT: William Kennedy, LICSW
(334) 206-5664

Vera Mitchell of the Madison County Health Department was selected as Public Health Social Worker of the Year for 2018. Awarded the honor of Social Work Manager of the Year was Heather Smith of the Marion County Health Department. The two recipients were recognized March 7 at the 2018 Public Health Social Work Seminar and Training held in Montgomery during National Social Work Month.

Nominators for the Public Health Social Worker of the Year award said Ms. Mitchell “exemplifies leadership and commitment to the social work profession,” and describes her as “highly self motivated.” Ms. Mitchell serves on the Madison County Domestic Violence Task Force and works to promote domestic violence awareness each October. She goes above and beyond working with public health patients, the homeless and others in her community that are in need. A former Adjutant General Officer in the United States Army, Ms. Mitchell is a strong advocate for her patients.

Ms. Smith was commended for her “love of people” and “shows care and compassion for her job.” Ms. Smith is an excellent trainer that sees “the big picture.” Nominators wrote that she has “a positive energy that is contagious,” and “possesses the ability to take the knowledge she has and trains others to be effective workers.” The wife of a local minister, she serves in multiple roles for her church, and is very involved in working with youth both in her church and the community. She serves on the Quality Assurance Committee for the Marion County Department of Human Resources and volunteers with community fundraisers and community fairs.

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.