NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Natalie B. Gordon (1927 - 2011)
Natalie Gordon is known both nationally and internationally for her innovative and creative contributions in the field of gerontology. The Enriched Housing Program, which Gordon helped create for New York's Jewish Home and Hospital, sustained a quality of continued community living rather than institutionalization. She also helped develop a full continuum of care known as a Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC). Gordon pioneered the interdisciplinary approach to gerontological care, working with doctors, nurses, and other health care providers. She has taught, administered programs, and written on the subject, improving quality of care for clients and their families and caregivers.
Gordon retired from 20 years of service as Vice President of Social Work and community Services at the Jewish Home and Hospital. She was actively involved in the Anti-Defamation League for more than 50 years and served as National Commissioner.
Gordon also represented the International Federation on Aging at the United Nations, where she addressed issues facing older persons globally. Nationally, she served as a member of AARP’s National Advisory Council. For a number of years she was appointed by NASW to represent social work on the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) Nursing Home Professional/Technical Advisory Committee, overseeing accreditation standards and processes.
Gordon received her DSW from the Hunter School of Social Work in New York and her MSW from Columbia University.
Significant Achievements and Awards
Gordon was the first recipient of the New York ADL’s Generations to Justice award and was the first woman to chair the League’s New York regional board.
She was also honored by the UJA-Federation for her service to the Jewish community.
Gordon was nominated to Phi Beta Kappa while attending Pennsylvania State University.
Framing the Debate (2001). Journal of Social Work in Long-Term Care, Vol. 1, Issue I, 7-9.
Chichin, E.R., Ferster, L. & Gordon, N.B. (1994). Planning for the End of Life with the Home Care Client. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, (1-2), 147-160.