OU-Tulsa Recognizes Social Workers, Facility Dog - Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System
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Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System

 

OU-Tulsa Recognizes Social Workers, Facility Dog

VA social workers and facility dog pose for a photo

Several social workers from the Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System, who are also OU Social Work graduates, attended an OU-Tulsa Social Work Month recognition ceremony on March 26 along with Honor (front left), VA facility dog at the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center.

By Nate Schaeffer, Public Affairs Specialist
Wednesday, March 27, 2019

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On March 26, the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa honored local VA Social Workers during a National Social Work Month ceremony at the Tulsa campus.

Of the 75 VA social workers employed by the Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System, 45 received their social work degree from the University of Oklahoma.

“We have many students and alumni who are working for VA and who provide complex services to Veterans,” said Dr. Lori Franklin, Acting Assistant Director for OU’s Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work. “We wanted to take a moment to honor them. They are making a difference for our Veterans.”

University of Tulsa staff pose for a photo with VA's facility dog

During the ceremony, OU-Tulsa presented Honor (front right), VA facility dog, with a Certificate of Appreciation and named her an honorary social worker as part of Social Work Month. (Back row left to right) Dr. Mary Isaacson, Interim Program Director for the OU-Tulsa Occupational Therapy Program, Dr. Jim Sluss, Dean, OU-Tulsa Graduate College, Dr. Lori Franklin, Acting Assistant Director for OU’s Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work, and Terri Woodworth, VA Administrative Officer for Social Work and facility dog handler for Honor, pose for a photo with Niko (left), an OU-Tulsa service dog, and Honor.

OU-Tulsa also held a special ceremony to recognize Honor, VA’s facility dog at Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center. OU presented Honor with a Certificate of Appreciation and named her an honorary Social Worker as part of Social Work Month!

Honor is a 33-month-old female Golden Retriever who visits Veterans in the Chemotherapy/Infusion Clinic, Inpatient Mental Health Unit and Hospice/Palliative Care, and has been a VA facility dog since January 2018.

“We really believe in service animals here at OU-Tulsa, because we have one (Niko) on our faculty and he works with our occupational therapy students,” said Dr. Franklin. “We really believe that animals can create relationships with people that are very different from what a human can. Those relationships are made without judgement. They are made out of compassion and kindness, and they can connect with people no matter their past or what their therapeutic issues may be.”

Cara Hobbs, an OU graduate and VA social worker at the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center, thanked OU for recognizing Honor and inviting VA staff to the OU campus.

“OU has played a vital role in ensuring that the state of Oklahoma continues to educate quality professional social workers and has done so for more than 100 years,” said Hobbs. “We greatly appreciate the invitation from the OU School of Social Work to celebrate Social Work Month and Honor, who brings so much joy to our Veterans and employees. She deserves all the recognition she can get.”

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