NASW-TN regrets the delay in hosting our Annual Awards ceremony that was originally scheduled for March 24 at Social Work Day on the Hill. We will be highlighting our award winners in this and future issues of Children and Family Connections.
2020 Lifetime Achievement Award
Elizabeth H. Strand, MSSW, LCSW, PhD
NASW-TN is pleased to recognize Dr. Elizabeth Strand, a true social work pioneer and perhaps our youngest lifetime achievement award winner.
Dr. Strand’s pioneering work includes founding and serving as the director of Veterinary Social Work (VSW) at the University of Tennessee Colleges of Social Work and Veterinary Medicine. Through her leadership and vision, the VSW Certificate Program for students enrolled in the UT Social Work graduate program provides students with a comprehensive foundation in veterinary social work focusing on the knowledge and skills needed to integrate animals into social work practice in ethically sound ways, and in keeping with the values of the social work profession.
She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a Grief Recovery Specialist, a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Teacher, and an ordained interfaith minister. She has been recognized for her grief support service program, Suicide Awareness in Veterinary Education (SAVE), as well as her excellence in service and leadership over the years. Some recent examples include the
All Creatures Great and Small
Endowed Clinical Associate Professor in Veterinary Social Work (2015), The University of Tennessee President’s Connect Award recipient (2018), and The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges Billy E. Hooper Award for Distinguished Service recipient (2019).
Her steadfast commitment to social justice is also evident as she works diligently to dispel stigma and other barriers to accessing mental health resources. Dr. Strand has developed and implemented three certificate programs for the University of Tennessee School of Social Work, Veterinary Social Work being the first, which led to the development of a certificate program for mental health professionals and then another for animal-related professionals. Dr. Strand has volunteered her time with HABIT (Human Animal Bond in Tennessee) and serves on the board for Humans and Animals Learning Together (HALT) and Companion Animal Initiative of Tennessee.
In addition to her research and numerous publications, Dr. Strand has also served as a field instructor and mentor for over 100 social work students and she was named Field Instructor of the Year in 2005. Dr. Strand is a champion for self-care and promotes it as essential to ethical social work practice. Dr. Strand not only recognizes the dignity and worth of the client, she honors the dignity and worth of the professional as well.