2024 Award for Excellence Recipient, Ali Tiedke

Ali Tiedke received the 2024 NAPSW Award for Excellence at the NAPSW annual conference held in Seattle in April.
This award is presented to an active member of NAPSW to recognize excellence and/or outstanding accomplishment by a perinatal social worker.

It is with great pleasure and admiration that we extend our heartfelt congratulations to Ali Tiedke, LCSW-C on receiving the prestigious Award for Excellence in Perinatal Social Work. This award is presented to an active member of NAPSW to recognize excellence and/or outstanding accomplishment by a perinatal social worker. It is the highest honor bestowed to members and is an important way to recognize the accomplishments of our colleagues. This year’s award was presented during the opening  banquet at the 49h annual conference held in Seattle in April. We were privileged to have many former recipients with us to celebrate with Ali. This honor is a testament to Ali's unwavering dedication, profound impact, and exemplary service in the field of perinatal social work and to our organization.

Ali graduated in 1995 with her MSW specializing in Maternal and Child Health from The University of Maryland School of Social Work in Baltimore, Maryland. Until her retirement in 2023, Ali worked at Howard County General Hospital providing support services, counseling, and discharge planning primarily for Labor and Delivery, Postpartum, Pediatrics, Pediatric Emergency Room, and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Her compassion, empathy, and expertise have touched countless lives, leaving an indelible mark on the perinatal community. 

Ali has filled many roles in NAPSW as Chair of Membership and Web Committees. She’s chaired several of our national conferences including our first virtual conference in 2021. Ali served as president of the organization from 2019-2021 and successfully led our organization through all of the challenges that the COVID pandemic presented. 
NAPSW member Barbara Menard nominated Ali for the award. Barbara said: 

“Ali has served in numerous roles within NAPSW over the years including President when no one was offering to run. She co-chaired the Savannah Conference and worked tirelessly all during that conference to make certain that the speakers had what they needed and all the AV needs were filled. She was part of the team that set up the relationship with MemberClicks and she assisted the Membership and Web committees. She has always offered to help when there was a need within the organization. Most of all, Ali is a committed social worker who has assisted many families in their needs while working at Howard County General Hospital. She is a treasure and it is a pleasure to call her a friend”.

In preparation for presenting the Award we were able to solicit many congratulatory letters from Ali’s family, friends and colleagues. 

Amanda Meneses, who worked with Ali both as an OB Nurse and the perinatal bereavement coordinator had this to say “amongst the heaviness of this work, she was the light that ran alongside me, providing support, encouragement, resources and compassion to staff and patients alike”. 

Annette Foster, another nurse who worked with Ali, said “I’ve seen firsthand the lengths to which you would go to ensure that those in need received the support and assistance that they needed”.

Cindy Mexcur shared “Your unwavering dedication, compassion, and expertise have undoubtedly made a profound impact on the lives of countless families during their most vulnerable moments”. 

Ali’s former supervisor, Janan Frey, said “Ali is a natural leader whom others turn to for advice. Ali embodies the values of the social work profession and sets an example for others to follow”.

Ali’s twin sister, Anne, had the following to share “As social work is not a spectator sport, nor a career that you enter to receive public gratification, there are not many people who really know how hard you worked, how committed you were to all your patients and their families, and the effort you put in to keeping the NAPSW thriving. Enjoy this moment and the recognition of a great career!”

Lastly, Ali’s husband, Keith: “I think the true beauty of this award for you is that you did not ‘work for it’ nor did you expect it. I am  very happy to see you get the recognition you deserve for your exceptional dedication to the NAPSW organization and the principles the members follow. It is, however, “no surprise” that you are getting this recognition….the award is testament to your singular focus for excellence. It is clear recognition to the hours you have put it and the desire you have always had to make a difference”. 

Ali and husband, Keith, are currently in the final stage of completing “The Great Loop” - a year’s boating adventure seeing the Eastern United States and Canada. It’s no surprise to any of us that Ali is a marathon runner. There’s nothing that Ali can’t do. 

As we celebrate Ali's remarkable achievements, we are reminded of the profound difference that one individual can make in the lives of others. Her passion, integrity, and commitment to excellence serve as a beacon of inspiration for all of us in the perinatal social work community. Congratulations, Ali!