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Public Health Social Worker named 2016 NASW-NC Social Worker of the Year

Wednesday, February 3, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Valerie Arendt
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(RALEIGH, NC)- Kelly Spangler has been named the 2016 Social Worker of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers North Carolina Chapter (NASW-NC).

The NASW-NC Social Worker of the Year Award is an annual award given to a social work professional who has demonstrated commendable social work practice and involvement with NASW and other professional, civic, and community organizations.

For over thirty years, Ms. Spangler has practiced as a public health social worker in both micro and macro settings as a direct service provider, program developer, consultant, administrator and educator. She has been an invaluable advocate for social workers in public health and continually encourages North Carolina Health Departments to hire social workers and offer public health social work services in their communities.

As a Regional Social Work Consultant for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health, Women’s Health Branch, Kelly provides consultation to local staff from 28 western counties for multiple Women’s Health Programs.

Her primary work these days is with the Pregnancy Care Management Program; a care management program that works closely with Pregnancy Medical Homes that provide prenatal care to Pregnant Women on Medicaid to help reduce North Carolina’s preterm birth and low birth weight rates.  

Ms. Spangler takes her role as a social work advocate seriously as she routinely calls legislators to advocate for public policy impacting social work clients, participates in protests like the Moral Monday events, volunteers for candidates and local political parties to help get out the vote, serves on legislative committees, and organizes social work volunteer activities in local nonprofit organizations.

According to Tanya Stiers, LCSW, “Kelly is a person who reaches out to new members of our community and is always available to help others network to improve their careers and personal lives. I, and many others, have become a better person and certainly a better social worker as a result of my on-going relationship with her.”

Kelly has dedicated her time to advocate for the profession of social work at the state and national level. She has served as a board member and a member of multiple committees with NASW North Carolina and currently serves as the national NASW Region V CNLI Representative.

Kelly actively promotes the social work profession in public health as an active member of the Social Work Section of the North Carolina Public Health Association helping to organize a Social Work Section track at the association’s annual conference.

Dr. Beth Vogler, Social Work Department Chair and Dean of the Division of Fine Arts and Professional Programs at Mars Hill University says, “Kelly is a true advocate and exhibits the best of social work in everything she undertakes. She is a role model in her willingness to always step up, and in her constant encouragement of others to get involved. She promotes not only Public Health Social Work, but our entire profession.”

The National Association of Social Workers North Carolina Chapter (NASW-NC) is a membership organization that promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers.  NASW-NC also seeks to enhance the effective functioning and wellbeing of individuals, families and communities through its work and advocacy.


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