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Kathy Boyd Receives The Order of The Long Leaf Pine

Wednesday, May 16, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Valerie Arendt
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Among the honors and awards the Governor of North Carolina can bestow, none is more valued than The Order of the Long Leaf Pine. Since its creation in 1963, it has been presented to honor persons who have a proven record of service to the State of North Carolina or some other special achievement, and to others as a gesture of friendship and goodwill.

Notable recipients include Maya Angelou, Coretta Scott King, Charles Kuralt, Reverend Billy Graham, Andy Griffith, Dale Earnhardt, Oprah Winfrey, Dean Smith, Michael Jordan and 2017 NASW-NC Social Worker of the Year Drew Pledger.

In March 2018, Drew Pledger presented The Order of the Long Leaf Pine to now former NASW-NC Executive Director Kathy Boyd on behalf of Governor Roy Cooper.

Kathy retired on March 30, 2018 after serving for 32 years as Executive Director of NASW-NC. Kathy led the association through many advances in the social work profession, including mandated licensure, passage of reimbursement laws and confidentiality statutes for social workers. Kathy paved the way for new, advanced areas of social work practice such as human-animal bond, mental health disaster response and integrated care.


Because of Kathy’s leadership, social work was the first masters level profession to gain direct enrollment in Medicaid in North Carolina and remains one of the only masters level professions allowed to provide for the first exam during the involuntary mental health and/or substance use commitment process.

Kathy’s leadership has made the public aware of the importance of the profession and how vital social workers are to the stability and health of communities across the state. There is no doubt that North Carolina has been strengthened by the social work profession which is the direct result of Kathy Boyd’s leadership and the helm of the National Association of Social Workers North Carolina Chapter.

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