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VA Social Worker named NASW North Carolina 2015 Social Worker of the Year

Tuesday, February 3, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Valerie Arendt
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Contact: Valerie Arendt, MSW, MPP; Associate Executive Director, NASW-NC
(919) 828-9650,

VA Social Worker named NASW North Carolina 2015 Social Worker of the Year


(RALEIGH, NC)- John Cowart has been named the 2015 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.

As a social work supervisor at the Charles George Veteran Administration (VA) Medical Center in Asheville, John Cowart, LCSW provides direct patient care and performs individual, couples and group psychotherapy for Veterans.

Mr. Cowart has led an extensive career serving American Veterans. He has provided direct services and support to veterans from the Spanish American War, World Wars I and II, the Korean War, Vietnam War, Gulf War, and the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. In his role as the Former Prisoner of War (POW) Coordinator for the VA in Asheville he has organized annual weekend reunions for the survivors of the Battles of Bataan and Corregidor in World War II.

For the past 15 years, Mr. Cowart has lead a group of Veterans diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to Washington, DC to visit the National War Memorials as a form of therapy and healing.

In addition to the excellent direct clinical services that Mr. Cowart provides, he is a talented clinical supervisor and social work educator. He has served as a mentor to dozens of social workers under his supervision at the VA, helping them to build their knowledge and clinical skills to serve Veterans and their families. For 20 years John taught master’s level social work courses as an adjunct faculty member for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work. In 2007 he was awarded the Dean’s Recognition for teaching excellence.

“During his 30 years of distinguished service [Mr. Cowart] has demonstrated dedication, leadership and commitment to the values of social work,” said Richard Adams, Chief of Social Work Service at the Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville. “Not because of an outstanding single event, or even an outstanding year, rather due to his consistent, outstanding practice as a clinician, educator, supervisor and leader whose contributions have enhanced the profession of social work.”

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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