NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Kenneth W. Y. Lee (1944-2016)
Kenneth Lee was the former Supervisor and Discharge Planning Coordinator, Social Work Service, at Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii. Before joining Tripler Army Medical Center, Mr. Lee served in the U.S. Air Force as a uniformed Social Work Officer. Mr. Lee continued his work with military-related clients following active duty in a variety of medical and psychiatric settings with the Veterans Administration and the Department of the Army.
After his retirement from federal service in 2000, Mr. Lee worked as a volunteer for the American Red Cross as a Disaster Mental Health Specialist and as a member of the American Red Cross Aviation Incident Response (AIR) Team and the International Response Team (IRT) for transportation disasters. Mr. Lee was also the Hawaii State Chapter Disaster Mental Health Lead and a disaster mental health instructor for the American Red Cross. Mr. Lee assisted in providing disaster mental health services at the World Trade Center following the events of September 11. In addition, Mr. Lee volunteered for the American Cancer Society as a consultant and facilitator in planning and conducted activities for teenager and child cancer survivors. Mr. Lee had more than 32 years of experience as a clinical social worker, grief and bereavement counselor, and disaster mental health clinician in a multitude of settings.
Mr. Lee received numerous awards for his exceptional work in the area of disaster mental health. The NASW Hawaii Chapter named him Social Worker of the Year in 1997 and 2002. He was named the Army Social Worker of the Year in 2000 and received a medal for the Federal Service Civilian Achievement Award. Mr. Lee received a BA in sociology and a MSW from the University of Hawaii, Honolulu. He completed post-graduate work as a Community Health Fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital/ Harvard University Medical School and a Family Therapy Certificate program at the University of Southern California.