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News & Press: Legislation/Policy

2014 Stabenow Political Leadership Award Presented to Dr. Ellen Hoekstra

Tuesday, June 24, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Duane Breijak
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Ellen Hoekstra, PhD of Lansing was awarded the 2014 Stabenow Political Leadership Award by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) – Michigan Chapter at their Annual Meeting of the Profession Conference on April 4 in East Lansing. The Stabenow Political Leadership Award is given out each year to a social worker or ally that has shown extraordinary political and legislative leadership through advocacy.

As President and co-founder of Capitol Services Inc., a lobby firm which the NASW-Michigan Chapter has engaged for many years, Dr. Hoekstra’s skills and commitment to the goals of social workers has enabled many priorities of the profession and those clients they serve to advance. The manner in which she influences and impacts public policy on behalf of those she advocates for is respectful and respected by others and consistent with social work values. She was instrumental in social worker’s achieving licensure and title protection in Michigan in 2005, ensuring standards of practice within the field. Dr. Hoekstra has mentored and tutored social work leadership in the skills needed to advance social work practice and social policies to benefit those social workers serve.

Dr. Hoekstra has worked with state government for over twenty years, including five years as the legislative director for the Michigan Federation of Teachers. After founding Capitol Services, she expanded her fields of expertise to include human services, consumer issues, particularly as they affect civil legal services and senior issues. She has served on a gubernatorial commission and volunteered her time to a number of organizations, most notably the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan, which has presented her two distinguished services awards. Prior to becoming a lobbyist, Dr. Hoekstra taught at Henry Ford Community College.

For more than 20 years she has guided the NASW-Michigan Chapter, through consultation with the Chapter Legislative & Social Policy Committee and Chapter staff, in advocacy for numerous State legislative and budget issues impacting social workers and those they serve. Her credibility with her peers, public elected officials and her commitment to advocate for social justice causes has served as an example for all Michiganders.

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world, with 135,000 members in 56 chapters nationwide.

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