August 30, 2007

State of Alabama
Press Release: Human Resources, Department of

Morgan County DHR Social Worker to Receive National Award

Marilyn Ragan, a social worker with the Morgan County Department of Human Resources has been named the recipient of the 2007 National Adult Protective Services Spirit Award. She will receive the award on September 6 at the National Adult Protective Services (APS) Conference in Atlanta. Earlier this year, Ms. Ragan was named the recipient of the Alabama APS Spirit Award for 2007.

The award is presented to a frontline worker who, through his or her own initiative and ideas, makes a significant contribution to the growth and development of adult protective services.

“The national and state recognition that Ms. Ragan is receiving is richly deserved,” said state DHR Commissioner Dr. Page Walley. “She epitomizes the compassion, determination and commitment of our county DHR staff who provide protective services for the elderly and for disabled adults,” he said. During Fiscal Year 2006, statewide, DHR received more than 5,000 reports of abuse, neglect and exploitation of disabled adults and the elderly.

Morgan County DHR Director Tonita Phipps said it is Ms. Ragan’s genuine concern that leads to positive outcomes in situations that might seem hopeless to others. “Providing protective services for vulnerable adults who are frequently ‘out of sight, out mind’ can truly test one’s mettle and commitment, but she thrives on the challenge,” Ms. Phipps said. Each year, Ms. Ragan partners with a local church to provide a Christmas party for her clients, and she solicits volunteers for their transportation to the party. “For most of them, this is the only attention they receive throughout the year” according to Ms. Phipps.

“Her dedication is truly inspiring,” Ms. Phipps said. “In one case, she gathered coats and blankets for an elderly woman who was living in a cold, run-down home. She eventually convinced the woman to move to a nursing home. “In another case, Ms. Ragan helped solicit community contributions to pay burial expenses and purchase burial clothes for an APS client, and she served as a pallbearer at the client’s funeral,” “These are just a few examples of her kindness and compassion. We are very proud of her,” Ms. Phipps said.  

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