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NYAM Section on Social Work Honors Founders, Looks Ahead

Back row (L-R): Mary Lutz, Linda Russell McGoldrick, Judith Howe, Monsignor Charles Fahey
Front row (L-R): Barbara Brenner, Jane Lowe, Rose Dobrof, Rosa Gill
Not pictured: Gary Rosenberg, Irwin Epstein

The purpose of the NYAM Section on Social Work is the study and advancement of knowledge in social work and health care. The section’s priorities are to share information with each other and other professions through NYAM’s range of sections and special interest groups focusing on health care education, practice, and policy.

The section hosts several meetings and events each year including membership meetings, Film Night, Student Night, lectures, and panel presentations addressing a variety of salient issues related to the social work profession and health care, and invites all NYAM members to participate.

Additionally, the section organizes topical events in partnership with other sections. With a grant from the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, it co-sponsored a 2011 conference on interdisciplinary care coordination for people with chronic conditions. The event was followed by a roundtable discussion with 25 national experts that generated a publication, “Interprofessional Care Coordination: Looking to the Future.”

On October 29, 2013, the section held a special event entitled “Honoring Our Founding Social Work Leaders.” This event paid tribute to the founding Fellows who led the way to organizing the Section on Social Work through sponsoring programs that touched on important policy issues in heath care and the field of aging. Among the leaders honored were Helen Rehr, MSW, PhD, and Mildred Mailick, MSW, DSW, who both passed away in 2013. 

“Helen Rehr and Mildred Mailick both really helped put social work on the map at NYAM but also in New York City, raising the importance of the role of social work in health care and education,” said Nora OBrien-Suric, PhD, chair of the Social Work Section. “With Helen and Millie’s passing, the section’s executive committee wanted to honor their memory and our debt to them. We also realized that we have wonderful leaders who have also helped to create our section and wanted to acknowledge their tremendous contributions to the field of social work.”

Barbara Brenner, DrPH, MSW, is one of those leaders. Dr. Brenner chaired the section for 15 years until Dr. OBrien-Suric took over two years ago. “Barbara really paved the way and put a wonderful imprint on the social work section and what it could do,” Dr. OBrien-Suric said. “She made it very active, she was a great leader, and she inspired people to come together to work on programs.”

The event will be held annually from now on, honoring both a seasoned Fellow in the section and an emerging leader each year. “We want to continue the legacy of our founding fellows and inspire the emerging leaders to keep up the work of these giants in the field,” Dr. OBrien-Suric said.

View more photos from the event here.

For more information please contact Donna Fingerhut ( or Nora OBrien-Suric (

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Posted on November 25, 2013

Gina Ravosa
Director of Marketing & Communications
The New York Academy of Medicine
1216 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10029
(212) 822-7285


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