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Chatham social worker wins state award

By Monique Peloquin
Posted Tuesday, November 8, 2005

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Pittsboro, NC - There are thousands of social workers helping to improve their communities throughout the state. They help ensure that pregnant women get the services they need to have healthy children; they support families through education and counseling; they help the sick manage the medical system; and they do so much more.

The North Carolina Public Health Association recognizes one of its social work members each year for their outstanding contribution to their community in public health. This year, the Social Work Outstanding Achievement Award was given to Mary Linker for her work in Chatham County.

Ms. Linker is the manager for the Family Outreach and Support Services Division at the Chatham County Public Health Department. She has been with the Health Department since 1994 and played the key role in getting the division created in 1997. She is also a resident of the County.

“Mary is an outstanding member of the Chatham community. She puts people at ease while motivating them to give their best,” said Dolly Huffman Clayton, the Health Department staff member that nominated Ms. Linker for the award.

Carmine Rocco, Health Director, said he is “proud to have Mary at the Health Department. She has developed a strong division that reaches many community members and makes countless individual connections with residents and workers to ensure that the best programs are accessible.”

Ms. Linker’s dedication to the community stretches far beyond the walls of the Health Department. She is active with many community groups including the Coalition for Family Peace, Allies for Chatham Families and the Chatham Transit Network.

“I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award,” said Kathy Hodges of the Coalition for Family Peace. “Mary really embodies social work values. She shares with everybody and looks for the strengths of a person or situation. She is a strong partner from the beginning.”

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