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McDowell County Social Worker Receives State Award from National Association of Social Workers, WV Chapter

Robin Pruitt has been chosen to receive the Catalyst for Direct Social Work Practice Award for 2020 from the National Association of Social Workers, West Virginia Chapter.

This social work honor is awarded to a social worker, nominated by her peers and chosen by NASW, throughout the State of West Virginia who exemplifies the professional ethics and standards of social work practice, will go above and beyond the call of duty to improve communities, enhance social justice, and promote social change.

Robin Pruitt, throughout her career as a social worker, has strived to enhance the quality of life for those she has served throughout McDowell County by volunteering her time and offering her professional expertise on numerous social agency Boards throughout McDowell County. A few of the Boards she has served over the past 36 years include founding member of Stop Abusive Family Environment (SAFE), founding member of Stop the Hurt (Child Advocacy Center), 911, McDowell County Ambulance Authority, FACES, Southern Highlands Community Mental Health Center, and McDowell County Commission of Aging.

Robin Pruitt’s employment history includes 36 years of social work practice at Welch Community Hospital in the capacity of Director. Since her retirement in July 2020, Robin continues to work at WCH on a part-time basis to ensure social service needs of Welch Community Hospital’s patients are provided.

Ms. Pruitt is an Adjunct Faculty Member in the undergraduate Social Work program at Concord University, a portion she has held for 13 years, ensuring that social work students have the opportunity to learn the importance of social work in health care and the critical role social workers play in the lives of patients achieving health wellness.

Additionally, Robin works with the WV Bureau for Children and Families in their Foster Care program, completing Home Studies through McDowell, Wyoming and Mercer counties, ensuring Foster children are placed in safe housing when removed from their biological homes.

Since retiring from Welch Community Hospital, Robin has taken on a new career path in the substance addiction arena. Working with Southern Highlands Mental Health Clinic in Welch as a counselor/social worker in their new inpatient substance detox program, HOPE Center, she strives to help others overcome substance use disorder.
Robin graciously and humbly accepted NASW’s Award, although acknowledging there are others who are more deserving than she. Robin offered that she shares the award with all social workers who are working in the trenches day in and day out to make a difference in the lives of those served.

“It has been a pleasure and a blessing to have had the opportunity to practice social work in McDowell County, where the people are resilient and have such strength for overcoming,” said Pruitt.

In her acceptance speech, Robin offered words of encouragement in the midst of COVID-19.

“As we carry on in the face of difficult times, I challenge you to continue building bridges as you cross them, continue helping sharpen the natural strengths of people you serve, continue working to remove barriers and strive to produce environments which enhance well-being,” said Pruitt. “Most importantly, let us transcend ourselves to serve others.”