Kermit B. Nash Award

The Kermit B. Nash Award to honor the memory of SSWLHC leader Dr. Kermit B. Nash. Dr. Kermit B. Nash was a former SSWLHC national Board Member, Hy Weiner Award member founding member of the Multi-Ethnic Coalition of the Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care. In 1997, he was elected as national President-Elect but resigned due to illness before he could take office. Those who knew Kermit remember him as an articulate, passionate and committed human being with a zest for life. His charismatic personality made people want to be around him as was evidenced at annual meetings when he used the hotel lobby to “hold court”. He will be missed, but his memory will always be with us.

The Kermit B. Nash Award Winner is selected by the SSWLHC Conference Committee.


After serving as the director of the Department of Social Work at the University of Washington, holding positions at the Yale University Medical School, and holding various social work positions in New York State, Kermit B. Nash went to North Carolina to teach and do research in the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research interests included social work practice and management in health care settings and psychosocial aspects of chronic genetic diseases, especially sickle cell anemia. Nash also served as the principal investigator of the Psychosocial Research Division at the Duke University Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center. He conducted research on self-help group participation for adults coping with the disease and investigated the impact of multiple psychosocial resources on children and adolescents with sickle cell. In addition, Nash investigated factors affecting the school adaptation of children with SCD.

He published numerous book chapters and journal articles about ethnicity, race, and the health care delivery system for individuals with sickle cell anemia, presented the stresses and strengths of Black families coping with this chronic illness, wrote on counseling and empowering families in which sickle cell exists, and explored ways of educating social workers in health-related fields to meet the needs of diverse populations.

Nash also served on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Journal of Social Work, Journal of Health and Social Policy, and Black Caucus (the journal of the National Association of Black Social Workers). In addition, he served on the board of the National Sickle Cell Disease Association. In 1992, Nash received the Hyman J. Weiner Award from the North Carolina Society for Hospital Social Work Directors for his professional contributions. He also was given a certificate of appreciation by the Martin Luther King, Jr. University/Community Planning Corporation.

Nash’s professional contributions to the field of SCD are numerous and form much of our current knowledge of the psychosocial aspects of the illness. His contributions as an author, a professor, and a consultant will not be forgotten, nor will the joy he brought into the lives of the individuals who were fortunate enough to have known him.

Winner Receives

Personalized, engraved award with two (2) minutes to accept.