Dawn M. Raadt, LSW of Stewartville, Minnesota, has been awarded the National Association of Perinatal Social Work (NAPSW) Award for Excellence for 2012. This award recognizes outstanding achievement in the field of per in tal social work and is presented to one recipient each year at our national conference. The award was presented at the opening banquet of the 36th Annual NAPSW conference on May 9, 2012 in Little Rock.

Dawn was nominated by two NAPSW members, Anne Marie Hallman (Kaiser Permanente, Downey Medical Center, and California) and Debby Segi-Kovach (All Children’s Hospital, Florida). Anne Marie wrote, “Dawn is a compassionate, kind woman who has cared for the patients in the OB/Gyn at Mayo for 27 plus years, with the utmost skill and competence. She has run a bereavement support group for many years. She has been a mentor to many younger or less experienced social workers including myself.” Debby thanked Dawn for mentoring her too when she became the President. Both ladies wrote about Dawn’s commitment to the organization, her leadership skills, and all her many capacities over the years. “It is an honor and a joy to nominate Dawn for her endless service to perinatal social work and NAPSW.”

Dawn has been a member of NAPSW for over 20 years. She has served as President from 2005-2007; Immediate Past President from 2007-20011; Board of Directors from 2000-2004; and Social Action Chair from 2002-2004. As President she served on many conference planning committees and was Chair of the Awards and Long Range Planning Committees. Dawn is now taking on Listserv moderator. She has presented at NAPSW conferences, at her hospital and in her community.

Dawn is also a Committee Member with her local March of Dimes since 2007. She has served on the Substance Abuse Prevention Project Task Force in her community. She has served on the Bright Futures Teen Pregnancy Advisory Board, Olmsted County Maternal Child Health, Advisory Board, and Southeastern Minn, Childbirth Education Board.

Dawn received her Bachelor of Arts degree, Magna Cum Laude, from Moorhead State University, Moorhead, Minnesota where she majored in Social Service. She started two Master Degrees, but life’s circumstances interfered with her completing her MSW. Dawn is a Licensed Social Worker for Minnesota.

Dawn first started her social work profession by working in a nursing home in Rochester, MN. Two years later she went to work at Mayo Clinic in Rochester working in the General Pediatrics, including the Cleft Palate Clinic. Four years later she moved to the OB/Gyn, Maternal Fetal Medicine/Newborn Nursery area. Dawn covered these areas for 27 years. Last year she transferred over to the Pediatric ICU/Pediatric Cardiology/NICU area.

At Mayo Clinic, Dawn is currently on the Ethical Consideration of Sterilization Request Committee. She has served on the Reproductive Medicine Ethics Advisory Board, Education & Research Committee, and on the Family Violence & Child Abuse Committees.

Dawn has facilitated a Perinatal Loss Support Group at Mayo for 11 years. In 1996 she was the recipient of the Mayo Clinic Individual Award for Excellence (candidates must exhibit high standards of ethics and performance and have interpersonal skills that demonstrate respect. They are high achievers, and they know how to tackle difficult challenges. Their good work inspires and motivates others).

Some of Dawn’s colleagues at Mayo have sent letters of congratulations to her, including the following comments. Dr. Roger Harm, Vice-Chair, Department of OB/Gyn writes, “When I think of what you have done for our patients I see heartfelt caring, positively, optimism, collegiality, and selfless service. I remember when my head was swimming from the clinical or social scenario we were facing and I wrote “Dawn, Please fix.. I meant it and somehow you fixed many problems day in and day out. Thank you for invaluable service!!”

Dr. B.W. Johnson, OB/Gyn Staff Physician wrote: “Your work has touched the lives of many families especially those of young women. I have seen you do it day in and day out never wavering and always able to see some positive aspect of every person you meet. You have a special gift which you have unselfishly shared with others. I think your patients see you as SUPER MOM. Enjoy your Award … you deserve it!”

From Susan Skinner, CNM, Director of the Midwife Program (wrote): “When I think of OB social services, I will always think of Dawn Raadt. She has been the back bone to our departments social functioning and well being. Got a patient with a problem. … Who you gonna call: Call Dawn! Dawn is known for her compassionate and comprehensive care to our patients. Always a team player. Her sense of humor and unruffled feathers served us well for many years in OB. Thank you Dawn for all you have done!!”

From Dawn’s supervisor, Kristine Schaefer: “Dawn practices social work with integrity and commitment to our profession. Whether is required heading to a local hotel to feed a patient’s dog or attending a patient’s potluck wedding, if it was in the best interest of the patient, it was done!! Congratulations to an outstanding social worker, Dawn Raadt!!”

Dawn lives in Stewartville with her husband Larry. She loves to travel and spend time with her children and grandchildren.

NAPSW congratulates Dawn on this wonderful accomplishment!