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Updated 11:00 AM March 22, 2004



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Geriatric social workers receive lifetime achievement awards

Ruth Campbell and David Neal have received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the U-M Health System's (UMHS) Department of Social Work.

Campbell, associate director of social work and community programs, has worked for the Geriatrics Center, Turner Geriatric Clinic since 1977.
Campbell (Courtesy Geriatrics Center)
Neal (Courtesy Geriatrics Center)

"This was the first such award offered by the UMHS Social Work Department as a way to acknowledge and give special recognition to Ms. Campbell for her many years of pioneering work in gerontology and social work. Ruth has been a leader in the field of geriatric social work, and a powerful advocate for the aging population on both a local and national level," says Kathleen Wade, director of UMHS Social Work. "Ruth Campbell has dedicated her life to teaching, mentoring, and ensuring the provision of stellar social work services for geriatric patients and families."

Campbell developed and implemented a multitude of social services and programs for patients and their families, including the Silver Club for people with memory impairment and the Turner Senior Resource Center.

"I've been lucky to work with such wonderful staff and supervisors who gave me encouragement and the flexibility to try new ideas and reach out to the community," Campbell says.

Neal has been with the University for 38 years. He was director of Psychiatric Social Work for more than 15 years and most recently has been associate director of the Washtenaw Community Health Organization (WCHO). In addition to his many contributions in the hospital, he has been an assistant professor of psychiatry at the Medical School and adjunct assistant professor at the School of Social Work.

"Mr. Neal has been at the forefront of social work for his work in mental health and is a strong advocate for the rights of patients and families impacted by mental illness," Wade says. "He is highly valued by his colleagues and sought out as an expert in social work and mental health."

Neal is known statewide for his leadership on emerging mental health issues, and he has been appointed to the state mental health advisory council by previous Michigan governors. In addition to his active participation on local and national boards, Neal has made numerous local and national presentations, and published widely on mental health topics.

"I have enjoyed my career as a social worker and watching the profession grow and become the major provider of mental health services in the country," Neal says.

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