NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
W. June Simmons
W. June Simmons is a visionary practitioner and administrator with broad expertise in social work practice in mental health, hospice and palliative care, particularly focused on gerontology. She has been recognized repeatedly nationally for her innovations, and leadership in crafting services of both demonstrably high quality and affordability. She is founder and C.E.O. of Partners in Care Foundation (P.I.C.F.) of San Fernando, California. Formerly a staff member and eventually president and C.E.O. of the Visiting Nurses Association, Simmons took a financially troubled organization – which closed its Los Angeles office – and created P.I.C.F. in 1997. The organization is recognized as a model of an evidence-based, cost-effective program providing care and prevention-education to communities at risk, older populations, and helping clients face end of life issues. The model Simmons helped develop at P.I.C.F. addresses the changing reality of where and how consumers address their healthcare needs. Simmons also recognized the need for a viable business model and integrated the foundation’s work with that of community organizations and public and private funders, an approach that has been replicated across the country. Her goal is to help people live better lives while reducing personal and societal costs. She has promoted quality health care, astutely linking social work’s role and skills to improve health outcomes with opportunities presented through federal initiatives including the Affordable Care Act.
As a recent member of the National Advisory Council of the National Institute on Aging (N.I.A.) and her leadership of Partners in Care Foundation, she helped develop initiatives for hospital-to-home-care integration and healthier living among older adults.
Simmons was the first MSW. at Huntington Memorial Hospital in 1972 and expanded the social work department into a multi-faceted and highly-respected social work service. She created innovative programs such as a senior care center, a child abuse and trauma center, a sexual assault center, and a court guardianship assessment center at Huntington. Simmons has shared her knowledge with programs nationwide. Her work made her the recipient of the 1988 Society for Hospital Social Work Directors’ Ida M. Cannon Award and the 1988 Eleanor Clark Award for Innovations in Patient Care from the National Hospital Social Work Directors.
Simmons earned her MSW. at the University of Southern California in 1970. She received her BA from Occidental College in Los Angeles in 1964.
Significant Achievements and Awards (selected)
2014: Lifetime achievement Award from the California Council on Gerontology and Geriatrics
2013: Served on the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Transforming End-of-Life Care
2012: Founding member, National Evidence Based Leadership Council
2011: National Council on Aging Service Award
2009: CEO of the Year Award from the Los Angeles Business Journal
2009 – 2012: Member, National Advisory Council for the National Institute on Aging
2006: National Council on Aging’s Health Promotion Institute’s Best Practice Award
2005: James A. Vohs/Kaiser Permanente Quality Improvement Award for Palliative Care (national recognition)
Yan, T., Wilber, K.H., Wieckowski, J. & Simmons, W.J. (2009). Results from the Healthy Moves for Aging Well Program: Changes of the health outcomes. Home Health Care Services Quarterly, 28(2-3), 100-111. doi:10.1080/01621420903176136.
Naito-Chan, E., Damron-Rodriguez, J., & Simmons, W.J. (2005). Identifying competencies for geriatric social work practice. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 43(4), 59-78. doi:10.1300/Jo83v43n04_05.
Berkman, B., Silverstone, B., Simmons, W.J., Volland, P.J. & Howe, J.L. (2000). Social work gerontological practice – The need for faculty development in the new millennium. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 34(1), 5-23.