Nadine M. Diaz, MSW ‘05, is working as the literacy program project coordinator at Hollygrove Children and Family Services in Los Angeles. She oversees “Learning for Life,” Hollygrove’s first-ever literacy program, where she is charged with developing a program for foster care children aged 5 to 18 years old.
Sattareh Farman Farmaian, SOWK CERT ‘32 , announced in June a new edition of her critically acclaimed 1992 autobiography, Daughter of Persia: A Woman’s Journey from Her Father’s Harem Through the Islamic Revolution (Crown Publishers), which was written in collaboration with Dona Munker. From Library Journal: “In this poignant autobiography, Farman Farmaian brings Persian history and culture alive. Born in 1921 into the powerful, aristocratic Qajar family, her life spans nearly a century of tremendous change in Iran: from a sheltered childhood in her father's harem (there was an extended family of four wives and over 30 children) through her studies at the University of Southern California where she was the first Iranian student to attend to her return to Iran to found and direct the Tehran School of Social Work from 1958 until 1979 when radical students took over the school and forced her into exile. Intertwined with her personal account is the political history of Iran from the constitutional monarchy of the Qajars through the Western-oriented but brutal Reza Khan and his son Reza Shah to the virulent anti-Western Islamic Republic of Ayatollah Khomeini. This is also a cultural history of a highly adaptable people who learned centuries ago--in order to survive--to trust no one outside one's own family.”
Kristie Halsey, MSW ’00, recently published a number of articles including:
Kataoka, S.H., Fuentes, S., O’Donoghue, V., Castillo-Campos, P., Bonilla, A., Halsey K.,Avila, J. & Wells, K. (2006) A Community Research Partnership: The Development of a Faith-based Intervention for Children Exposed to Violence. Ethnicity and Disease. 16, 89-97.
Halsey, K. (2005). Let Me Help You, So I Can Feel Good: Recognizing Co-dependent Behavior in Helping Relationships. Health Ministry Journal. 1 (3), 19-20.
Takinia Holmes, who attended USC in 2005 in a special exchange program for student victims of Hurricane Katrina graduated from Tulane University. She is working at Portals, a mental health rehabilitation agency serving severely mentally ill patients. Her work involves field and office therapy, group work, individual case management and DMH paperwork.
Jim Karls, PhD ’78, was recently the keynote speaker for the University of Calgary’s symposium on Canada’s contribution to international social work. He has been working with several Canadian schools on the development of the PIE (Person-in-Environment) System, which, with translations into six other languages, is now considered an international social work instrument.
Nani Lee, JD, PhD ’02, is currently the executive director of Five Mountains Hawaii, a non-profit community health organization in Waimea, South Kohala, Hawaii. She served as the deputy administrator for beneficiary advocacy and empowerment for the Office of Hawaii Affairs upon graduation. She then joined Chaminade University of Honolulu as an associate professor of Behavioral Sciences and as the director of community and external relations in 2004.
Tiffany Rector, MSW, JD ’03, started as part-time lecturer in social welfare policy at the USC School of Social Work, Orange County Center in spring. She has been an adjunct professor of criminology and criminal law for Kaplan University School of Criminal Justice since January 2005. She has also served as a psychiatric social worker at Patton State Hospital since August 2002. She began work on the specialized sex offender treatment unit in October 2004, providing cognitive-behavioral treatment to adult males and females. Rector was hired as the administrative hearing advocate for Psychotropic Medication Review Panels in August 2004, where she also served as an advocate for individuals subject to involuntary psychotropic medication. She is a member of the Association for Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA) and the California Coalition on Sexual Offending (CCOSO), where she is also a member of the education committee.
June Simmons, MSW ’70, was aggravated by the immorality and inefficiency of the nation’s health care system. But instead of complaining, she turned her frustration into action, and at age 55, established the Partners in Care Foundation to devise new ways of delivering health care. Eight years later, not only has her organization grown tenfold, but she’s gaining even more repute as a finalist for The Purpose Prize, which honors social entrepreneurs in their second half of life who are marshalling their accumulated experience to address critical social problems.
Simmons was one of 15 winners of the first-ever Purpose Prize, a major new initiative to invest in Americans over 60 who are leading a new age of social innovation. Civic Ventures, the San Francisco-based think tank responsible for channeling funds to these new pioneers, awarded her $10,000 to honor her outstanding achievements and serve as a down payment on future creativity and action toward solving America’s most important issues.
Over the two decades Simmons worked as a social worker and hospital administrator, she saw a lot that’s right about health care and a lot that isn’t.
“Relative to other countries, we spend huge amounts of money on health care, but our outcomes rank 37th in the world,” she said. “We won’t spend money helping you avoid a stroke or a fall or complications from diabetes. We’ll wait until you’re almost dead, then we’ll pay for care.”
Partners in Care is currently working with more than two dozen local universities, hospitals, social service agencies and public organizations on more than 46 projects that tackle everything from helping older adults manage complicated medication regimens to getting health care to the working poor. The foundation looks for health care system failures that affect a lot of people and can be corrected with incremental, common-sense changes. The result is a mix of research, development and an effort to expand the application of effective approaches to a broader population.
The foundation has worked in partnership with other organizations to train more social workers to work with the elderly, place retired doctors and nurses in existing clinics to treat the uninsured, and adapt a medications management program that reduces life-threatening errors. It also created a high-quality, cost-saving program to provide home care for dying patients, which was adopted throughout the Kaiser Permanente system.
“The reality is that we’re not going to be able to ask the government for a whole new health care system,” Simmons says, “so our idea is to redirect the money that’s already there.”
Raymond M. Scurfield, MSW, DSW ’79, recently published A Vietnam Trilogy, which deals with the psychiatric casualties of the Vietnam War.
Lisa-Satoko Watanabe, MSW ‘05, began working as an adoption social worker for the Presbyterian Children’s Village Services in Philadelphia in May. She moved to Philadelphia in July 2005 with her husband and young daughter. The organization she works for provides residential facilities for teenagers while also offering community services such as foster care, adoption, preservation, behavioral health services and school-based services.