NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Dr. Dobrof, over her professional career, was responsible for the development of the field of gerontological social work. From the time she entered social work practice, she was committed to services for the elderly. She created Hunter College (CUNY) Brookdale Center on Aging –a multiple purpose organization serving seniors. She secured the originating grant and served as its Executive Director until her retirement in 1994 - though she continued to serve as the Brookdale Professor of Gerontology at Hunter College. With Dr. Robert Butler, she co-directed the Hunter/Mount Sinai School of Medicine Geriatric Education Center. Together the two developed the medical, nursing and social work educational curricula, having taught hundreds of students.
Dr. Dobrof was a nationally recognized expert in the field of aging. She was the Editor of the Journal of Gerontological Social Work. She was the author of over fifty publications and innumerable presentations in both professional and lay forums. She was an active researcher responsible for more than ten solo and multi-professional grant-funded projects dealing with specialized services for the elderly. She influenced hundreds of health and mental practitioners to a consciousness in services for the elderly. She was involved in the field as co-director in the Hartford Hunter Gerontology program, co-director in the Mount Sinai School of Medicine/Hunter Long Term Care Gerontology Center and lectured at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Columbia University School of Social Work (her doctorate alma mater) and Hunter College, along with world-wide visiting lectureships.
Her influence extended to Board memberships in agencies dealing with service, manpower, health and mental health, wellness and home care policy. She was been a presidential appointee to the White House Conference on Aging, the Federal Council of Aging and served on the Advisory Committee of the National Institute of Aging. In 1999, she was chosen to co-chair the U.S.-Committee for the Celebration of the United Nations Year of Older Persons. The Mayor of New York, the Governor of New York, and the President's Secretary of HHS have each drawn on her knowledge in their planning for the elderly.
The many recognitions from the public, foundations and community sources have been for her remarkable contribution to enhance services to the elderly. With all of these commitments, she was always available to those entering the fields of gerontology and geriatrics.