NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Hyman J. Weiner (1926 - 1980)
Dr. Weiner was considered a pioneer in group work in health and in new fields of practice, education and research. He was guided by ideals of democracy, social justice, equality, and redistribution of power. His vision of social work came in part from Jane Addams, and Bertha Reynolds. Sociology and cultural anthropology enriched his understanding of social systems where he saw social workers in diversified roles tailoring their practice to suit the needs and hopes of individuals, groups, communities and organizations. His publications reflect his vision.
From 1951 to 1959, he initiated and directed group work programs in children's and chronic disease hospitals and supervised student units as an instructor and lecturer at Columbia University School of Social Work. From 1959 to 1961, he was a research instructor in rehabilitation medicine and public health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the School of Social Work, Yeshiva University. During this time he combined and refined new and traditional approaches while teaching students and conferring with colleagues.
It was in 1959 that he became a member of the NASW Joint Committee on the Utilization of Group Methods in the health field. His ideas and experiences provided the core of the Committee's deliberations which resulted in 1967 in the publication of The Use of Groups in the Health Field.
His identification with the labor movement brought him in 1961 to the Sidney Hillman Health Center where he directed the mental health clinic and began a new phase of practice and research in the world of work. It was in 1964 that he received a Doctorate in Social Welfare from the Columbia University School of Social Work.
In 1967, as Professor of Social Work at Columbia, he developed and taught courses in industrial social work welfare, interdisciplinary collaboration, and social work practice. He founded the Industrial Social Welfare Center.
In 1975, he became Dean of the New York University School of Social Work where he developed the Social Work in Health Training and Research Center at the NYU Medical Center. Dr. Weiner returned in 1977 to Columbia University as professor, continuing his teaching and research with grants at St. Luke's Maternal and Child Health Center and a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on the administration of ambulatory care programs.
The profession and people he served received much wisdom and inspiration from Hyman Weiner. He was a modest, compassionate man who ventured where few had gone before and engaged in the search with exceptional grace and wit.
Dr. Weiner died in 1980.
Social Work Pioneer -1994