The Professional Association of Social Workers in HIV & AIDS (PASWHA) energizes and supports social workers and other professionals providing social work services to impact the infection through education, research, policy/advocacy, networking, and professional development.
Professional Association of Social Workers in HIV/AIDS Announces Collaborative Solutions as Management Agent
The Professional Association of Social Workers in HIV/AIDS (PASWHA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Collaborative Solutions, Inc. as its management agent providing both administrative and program services. The Chief Executive Officer of Collaborative Solutions, Rusty Bennett, LGSW, PhD, will also assume the oversight duties as Executive Director of PASWHA.
“We are thrilled to have Dr. Bennett and the Collaborative Solutions team providing great administrative and programs support,” said Randall H. Russell, MSW, President of the Professional Association of Social Workers in HIV/AIDS Board of Directors. “We look forward to the Collaborative Solutions team applying their previous knowledge, experience and expertise to assist PASWHA’s growth and expansion.”
Since the HIV epidemic began in the U. S., social workers across the country have been on the front lines of prevention, access to care and treatment, research, policy/advocacy, and empowering people living with HIV disease. After several decades of various efforts to connect social workers in the HIV field to one another, a group of social workers, who attended the National AIDS Conference in Colorado in 2010, decided to put together a web-based survey to determine the need for an established organization of professional social workers involved in HIV. Over 1,100 responses were received, with the overwhelming majority of respondents stating that they wanted this type of association and that this association should focus on policy/advocacy, professional development, research, and education. The Professional Association of Social Workers in HIV/AIDS was incorporated as a nonprofit on October 15, 2010, with a mission to energize and support social workers and other professionals providing social work services to impact Hepatitis C, HIV, and AIDS infections through education, research, policy/advocacy, networking, and professional development.
Since PASWHA’s formation the organization has sought to establish itself as an integral component in the professional lives of social workers in the HIV/AIDS field. Organizationally, it has formed an active board, with the resource of an Advisory Committee focused on professional development and education, research, policy and advocacy. The foundation of the organization is its membership both national and international. For its members, PASWHA has created a website that includes a Members’ Only area with job information, news, and resources. PASHWA hosts networking events at the annual National Conference on HIV and AIDS, and offers continuing education opportunities through a series of Webinars. Hundreds of individuals have participated in past PASWHA Webinars. Topics for the Webinars have included healthcare reform and trauma in the context of HIV. The Webinars are conducted by recognized experts in the field. Continuing Education Units for participants are granted through Boston College Graduate School of Social Work and from the Louisiana State Board of Social Work Examiners through Tulane School of Social Work. Evaluations received from the Webinars indicate participants felt the information obtained from the Webinars was meaningful, helpful, timely and increased the participants’ effectiveness in their work.
As the management agent for PASWHA, Collaborative Solutions will implement PASWHA’s vision of energizing and supporting social workers and other professionals providing social work services to impact the infection through education, research, policy/advocacy, networking, and professional
development. Through this arrangement Collaborative Solutions will provide day-to-day administrative and program operations.
“The agreement demonstrates Collaborative Solutions’ strong support and alignment with PASWHA’s vision.” said Dr. Bennett.
An experienced executive leader, educator and manager with an 18-year track record of delivering results, Dr. Bennett will continue in his role as Chief Executive Officer of Birmingham-based Collaborative Solutions. Bennett also serves as an adjunct professor of Social Work at The University of Alabama School of Social Work, Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
“I am elated about the opportunity to work with an innovative national organization like the Professional Association of Social Workers in HIV/AIDS, while still maintaining the focus on developing and maintaining our successful programs here at Collaborative Solutions,” said Bennett. “The Professional Association of Social Workers in HIV/AIDS joins a family of nonprofits, like the National AIDS Housing Coalition and the Low Income Housing Coalition of Alabama, for which Collaborative Solutions provides administrative and program services. Through our services these strong organizations can better focus on achieving their missions to expand housing and health to vulnerable populations.”