UW School of Social Work E-news
Winter 2009  |  Return to issue home

Alumni in the News

Alicia Martinez & family
Alicia Martinez, right, and family

Alicia Martinez, BASW '08 and current MSW student, has been awarded a scholarship from the CSWE's Carl A. Scott Memorial Fund. She was one of just two awardees nationwide. According to the fund committee, Martinez was chosen for her work with immigrant communities, particularly with families who have children with special needs.

In her nominating letter Linda Ruffer, Martinez's SSW academic adviser, wrote: "Alicia has independently explored varied opportunities for community work as an English tutor for Latino Elders at the SeaMar Senior Program, caseworker for families with children with special needs at the Kindering Center, and organizer for food distribution at the Hopelink food bank. She also completed a UW Exploration Seminar in Berlin, in which she analyzed the connections between recent immigrant populations and governmental policies. Alicia is very clear about her intentions to provide compassionate services to the international community. Her unique talents, passion to advocate for social justice issues for marginalized populations, and commitment to community service make her a stellar candidate for this scholarship."

Janis Avery
Janis Avery
In November 2008, Janis Avery, MSW ’84, was named a Woman of Influence by the Puget Sound Business Journal. This award honors extraordinary women of the Puget Sound region who have made an impact on the community and economy and who have mentored other women. Since 1995, Avery has been executive director of Treehouse, whose six core programs─tutoring, educational advocacy, Coaching-to-College, Little Wishes, summer camp and Wearhouse─give foster children a real childhood as well as hope for the future.

In 2007, Avery was named Executive Director of the Year by the Executive Alliance, a Puget Sound-area nonprofit membership association. She was also named one of the Angels in Adoption by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption 2008.

Avery says that she values the education she received at the School of Social Work, which focused on agency management to improve care and support systems, and believes it prepared her for the leadership position she holds. "My roots in social work lead me to seek proactive, permanent solutions to our social challenges as well as to support remedial strategies," she said.

Becca Hutcheson
Becca Hutcheson

Becca Hutcheson Receives Quality of Care Award
Rebecca (Becca) Hutcheson, MSW ’98, received the 2008 NQC (National Quality Center) Quality of Care Award for Leadership. Hutcheson, quality management program manager for the Public Health Department of Seattle and King County's HIV/AIDS Program, was recognized for her leadership in developing infrastructure for improving the quality of care received by HIV-positive clients served through Ryan White funds on local, state and national levels.

The largest federally funded program for people living with HIV/AIDS, the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act of 1990 was named in honor of an Indiana teenager who contracted AIDS through a tainted hemophilia treatment in 1984 and was expelled from school as a result. Until his death in 1990, White was a well-known advocate for AIDS research and awareness. Over the past year, all Ryan White Part A funding recipients in King County were trained in quality improvement methodology, developed and implemented quality management plans, engaged in quality improvement projects, and sought client feedback about their services.

Hutcheson facilitated the process of developing comprehensive, consistent sets of standards for the 20 funded service categories and provided technical assistance to all funded providers in meeting these standards. She also convened the Part A Quality Management Advisory Committee to evaluate and improve care provided to HIV-positive people in King County. Finally, she convened an internal quality improvement committee to focus on Part A program processes and outcomes. This committee has improved several processes that have reduced local providers’ time and resources spent on meeting funding requirements.

Mary (Jorgensen) Everett, BASW ’89, MSW ’91, LISW CCM, is a social work case manager at the University of New Mexico Health Science Center. She works on the Mother-Baby Unit and OB Special Care at this public hospital and trauma center for New Mexico, southern Colorado, eastern Arizona and El Paso, Texas. "Most of our patients are low income, and many come from Mexico seeking medical treatment," Everett wrote. "New Mexico is one of our poorest states, so resources are often hard to find. Many of our patients are Spanish-speaking only, so I use interpreters almost everyday. I miss Seattle very much and visit yearly to see my grown children. I do enjoy my job here, though, and plan to stay until I can retire."

Winter 2009  |  Return to issue home