NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Mary Hemmy (1914 – 1997)
Mary L. Hemmy was a founding member of NASW, which emerged in 1955 from a five year-long effort that brought together seven professional organizations representing social workers from various fields of specialization. Hemmy served on the transitional committee for the merger as a representative of the American Association of Psychiatric Social Workers.
Hemmy practiced at the Benjamin Rose Institute in Cleveland, Ohio, where she was executive director from 1959 to 1977. Her pioneering efforts expanded the community service component of the program, established a research department to study services to the elderly, and reviewed alternatives to nursing homes or protective services. She also helped create a nursing home component to the Institute as a healthier alternative to typical institutional care at the time.
Hemmy began her career at George Warren Brown School of Social Work in 1942 and became director of the Social Service Department of Washington University Clinics in 1947. She was later associate professor and head of medical social work at the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois and professor of social case work at the University of Pittsburgh.
Mary Hemmy earned her MA in 1941 and her BS in 1937 from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
Significant Achievements and Awards
1961-63: Hemmy was a member of the NASW board of directors.
1963-66: Member of the special medical advisory group to the V.A.
Hemmy was also a member of the Ohio Administration on Aging and a member of the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Hospitals.
Farrar, M. & Hemmy, M.L. (1963). Use of unprofessional staff in work with the aged. Social Work, 8(3), 44.
Hemmy, M.L. (1961). What it takes to sustain the aged in the community. Journal of Jewish Communal Service, 178-185. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Conference of Jewish Communal Service, Boston, May 29, 1961.
Hemmy, M.L. & Farrar, M.S. (1961). Protective services for older people. Social Casework, 42(1), 16-20.
Hemmy, M.L. (1952). The use of medical social service in the total treatment of patients. Hospital Management, 74(3), 29.