NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Beatrice Phillips Sachs (1909 - 2002)
Throughout her long and distinguished social work career as an expert in social work administration, education and research, Beatrice Phillips Sachs was a pioneer in integrating clinical social work into the health care and academic settings. In 1956, Sachs was appointed Director of the Social Work Department at Boston's Beth Israel Hospital, a position she held until April, 1976. A firm believer in comprehensive patient care, Sachs identified with the mission of the hospital and forged ahead to develop social work interventions, including patient care rounds, crisis intervention techniques, individual and group programs, as well as the hospital's home care program.
During her tenure as Director, Sachs envisioned a national organization to tackle the professional issues of social worker administrators in health care. From this vision emerged, in 1966, the Society for Hospital Social Work Directors. Sachs became its first and founding President.
Sachs held many academic appointments at Simmons College School of Social Work, The Harvard University School of Public Health, Smith College School of Social Work, and New York University School of Social Work.
Sachs' contribution to the social work profession also included many publications and presentations. In 1976, she was appointed the first editor of Health and Social Work, a journal of NASW. At her retirement from Beth Israel Hospital, the Beatrice Phillips Sachs Writing Award was established to support professional social work scholarly writing. The creation of this award clearly reflected her tradition of excellence and leadership in social work.
Sachs provided a grant to establish the Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Health Care Administration at Simmons College. This program, the first of its kind,was designed to prepare individuals with advanced degrees in clinical disciplines to be administrators and health care leaders.
Beatrice Sachs continued to exercise her leadership in the social work community during her retirement and her commitment and vision continues to inspire innovation and excellence.