Lisa R. Baker, LCSW, Ph.D, of Vestavia Hills, Alabama has been awarded the National Association of Perinatal Social Work Award for Excellence for 2013. This award recognizes outstanding achievement in the field of perinatal social work and is presented to one recipient each year at our national conference. The award was presented at the opening banquet of the 37th Annual Conference on May 8, 2013 in Baltimore.

Lisa was nominated by two NAPSW members, Judie McCoyd, (Philadelphia) and Debby Segi-Kovach (Florida). Judie wrote “Lisa is an academic who has her identity in the perinatal world of the NICU; she brings a different perspective in how we can use research, policy analysis, and other tools to the perinatal social work world. Lisa needs to be recognized for her passion, commitment and strength”. Debby mentioned that when she first met Lisa, she was so impressed that Lisa was a professor teaching students about perinatal social work issues! She would bring her mother with her to the NAPSW conferences to watch her young daughters. Lisa was also developing screening tools for postpartum depression, and providing consultation to Healthy Start in her state. “Lisa is always willing to share her knowledge with others. She developed a teaching modality on postpartum depression that I use with all my social work interns.”

Lisa has been a member of NAPSW for over 15 years. She currently serves as the Chair of the Education Committee. She served on the Board of Directors from 2007-2011. She has been the State Representative for Alabama since 2007. She was just elected the President for 2013-2015. Lisa has presented multiple times at the NAPSW conferences and has filled in when others presenters were not able to. She has published numerous articles in the Forum. She and Judie McCoyd; PhD did a four part series on developing research strategies in perinatal social work. She has published in other professional journals and presented nationally.

Lisa‘s research interests are maternal and child health care, evidence-based social work practice, disaster preparedness and response, online education.

Lisa is currently employed at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, Alabama as Associate Professor, Program Director Department of Social Work. She is also an Adjunct Faculty, Dept of Anthropology, and University of Alabama, at Tuscaloosa, Ala. Lisa is currently a Researcher, Disaster and Emergency Communication Research Unit, Ryals School of Public Health at UAB. She is also a mental health responder for Alabama’s disaster relief assistance team.

Her teaching experience at UAB consists of: Human Behavior in the Social Environment II (classroom); Introduction to Research Methods (classroom and online); Social Work in Perinatal Settings (on-line); Disaster Preparedness and Response (on-line).

Before Lisa became a gifted researcher and professor, she worked as a perinatal social worker in the NICU at Joe DiMaggio’s Children’s Hospital in South Florida. Lisa moved to Georgia and worked in the Special Care Nurseries at Grady Memorial and at Egleston Children’s Hospital. She has worked as a consultant for Healthy Start CORPS, and as a counselor/psychotherapist.

Lisa received her Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, from University of Georgia. She received her Masters of Social Work from Florida International University. She received her Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work, University of Georgia. Her Dissertation “Social Work Intervention to Increase Compliance with Home Apnea Monitoring” under the direction of Dr. James Gaudin and Dr. Bruce Thyer at Emory University.

In 2012, Lisa was honored “Best Empirical Article (Quantitative) of 2011”, Council on Social Work Education/Journal of Social Work Education. Presented at the Council of Social Work Education Meeting, Washington, DC. Lisa is an active member of the Society of Social Work and Research.

Lisa’s current community service work consists of: Member of the Editorial Board-Journal of Social Work Education. Reviewer for Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, Member of UAB Faculty Affairs Committee and Red Cross Liaison for the UAB Social Work Program.

Congratulations letters were received from Dr. Loretta Cormier, Ph.D “I have worked with Lisa for at least 10 years as research collaborator and co-worker at UAB. Lisa has the rare ability to combine the highest of standards for professionalism and genuine empathy, warmth and compassion for the families she works with. As a researcher her scholarship is impeccable. She sees the best in everyone and the hope in every situation no matter how difficult the circumstances seem to be.”

Another colleague, Dr. Linda Lucas, Ph.D, Provost. “I praise you for being a long-standing member of NAPSW and for having served the organization is many different ways. You have been lauded for bringing a different perspective to how research and policy analysis can be used to improve the field of perinatal social work. I was particularly impressed by your work to help those suffering from postpartum depression. Our university and the communities you serve are enriched by your integrity, your innovative spirit and your social entrepreneurship”.

And from Dr. Patricia Moseley, Ph.D, “Lisa is a tireless and faithful advocate for perinatal social work. She consistently applies her academic and research skills to promote quality health care for neonates, and their families. She is a solid rock supporter of military families. Lisa has trained for and participated in three national disaster relief efforts to improve services for families. Lisa’s selfless achievements are cause for celebration…..let’s applaud our outstanding colleague!!’”

Lisa lives in Vestavia Hills with her husband, two daughters and two dogs. Lisa has a side business (The Blind Dog Biscuit Company) where she makes organic dog biscuits and sells them at the Farmers Market.

NAPSW congratulates Lisa on all her accomplishments!