NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Dorothea Dolan (1910 - 1999)
Dorothea Dolan completed her AB and MSW degrees at the University of Denver in 1931 and 1932 respectively and she also pursued some post graduate work at the University of Louisville and at the Chicago Graduate School of Social Service Administration. Dorothea Dolan's career in Social Work was largely in the field of mental health. She joined the staff of the National Institute of Mental Health in 1948, during the early stage of its development. Through her previous experience which included the Louisville Mental Hygiene Clinic; the psychiatric ward of the Louisville City Hospital; the Cleveland Chief Guidance Clinic and Branch Chief of Social Service in the Veterans Administration, she was well prepared to be a participant in charting new approaches to improving mental health institutions already established and determining the unmet needs to work with the community in meeting them. Her assignment to the Regional Office of Public Health Service located in Chicago and covering five mid-western states, was a challenging job which took imagination, motivation, and the ability to implement programs designed to meet the state and community needs.
After 17 years in the Chicago Regional Office she was assigned to the NIMH national office in Bethesda, Maryland. She was placed in the Planning Program of the Office of Field Organization and there was assigned to rural mental health. She felt this was her most exciting job. She had great respect for the professionals who worked in the rural Mental Health Centers for their initiative and ingenuity which characterized their work. Her own talents in these characteristics were a productive combination for the community.
Miss Dolan retired in 1974 to Denver, Colorado.