Honoring 100 for the 100th: Bob Mann

Bob Mann graduated from the University of Oklahoma’s School of Social Work with his Master’s degree in 1997. His interest in social work began when he met Professor Herman Curiel at a mental health conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1993. Though Bob was a registered nurse at that time, Dr. Curiel told Bob that his RN degree and an MSW degree would be a great combination. Within a year’s time, Bob was admitted to the School of Social Work and moved to Norman, Oklahoma. As a non-traditional student, Bob jokingly says that he “annoyed [his] fellow students,” but the core social work framework of Human Behavior in the Social Environment excited him as he could see how his RN and MSW would work in unison. In 1996, Bob graduated with his bachelor’s Degree in Social Work, and in 1997, Bob graduated with a Master’s in Social Work with an emphasis in Administration and Community Planning.

In 1999, Bob was hired by The Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC) to help resolve what would turn out to be the end of a 27-year-long conditions of a confinement class action law suit. Bob worked as a vital part of the team charged with improving the medical, dental, and mental health services delivered in DOC. In 2007, Bob shifted his primary focus in DOC towards working with inmates living with a serious mental illness. In this role, Bob co-managed the Collaborative Mental Health Reentry Program for incarcerated individuals with serious mental illnesses. This program was later awarded the Council of State Government’s 2011 Innovation Award. Bob also spearheaded the first initiative in the country to utilize Medicaid dollars to fund inpatient community hospitalizations for Medicaid eligible inmates in DOC. As of 2015, that initiative saved the state of Oklahoma over 15 million dollars. During my tenure in DOC, Bob was a frequent national speaker on topics such as federal benefits for soon to be released inmates, collaboration between mental health and criminal justice entities, and mental health prison reentry. Bob believes he was “very fortunate” to be inducted in the University of Oklahoma’s Zarrow School of Social Work Hall of Fame in 2011 as a Practicing Professional.

In 2015, Bob retired from DOC and began the next phase of his career as a social worker for the OKC Department of Veteran Affairs in the VA Supported Housing (HUD-VASH) program. Bob serves as a case manager and a substance use disorder specialist. In his years of macro social work practice, Bob worked on homelessness issues on the Oklahoma Governor’s Council on Homelessness, the Oklahoma City Continuum of care Grant Review Committee, and the Oklahoma City Coalition to End Poverty. Today, Bob provides substance use disorder treatment and case management for a caseload of Veterans in the HUD-VASH Program, provides group and individual counseling to veterans who have a substance use disorder diagnosis, and performs home visits of HUD-VASH client residences to assist Veterans to work on their stated goals. In employment with the VA, Bob says, “I believe I am truly in social work heaven!”

5 comments (Add your own)

1. Christine Cleary wrote:
Bob, our Veterans are blessed to have you as their Social Worker, and I am a better Social Worker for practicing alongside of you. Your ability to listen and make us remember to laugh and not take life too seriously are a breath of fresh air. Thank you for being you!

Mon, May 15, 2017 @ 10:22 AM

2. Melody Riefer wrote:
What an excellent choice for your 100 for the 100th! Bob deserves this respect because his practice begins by respecting those people he works with. When we take off our veil and show that we are the people we serve then we can all reach the standard of excellence and humanity Bob exemplifies. Add to that his commitment to healing, humor, and laughing then we have before us a solid representative of Social Worker. Good on you, Bob. Well done. Well doing!

Mon, May 15, 2017 @ 10:39 AM

3. Michele W Beck wrote:
Fantastic Bob! You have done so much good over the years - instituting and seeing positive changes through at the macro level. You are a natural leader and great role model for working with others.

Mon, May 15, 2017 @ 12:05 PM

4. Rita Koontz wrote:
Bob, I'm so fortunate to have worked with you both at DOC and at the VA. You've done so much for so many and should truly be proud of what you've done! And thanks so much for the laughs!! Bonus!!

Wed, May 17, 2017 @ 9:51 AM

5. Tempie Nichols=Rood wrote:
Congrats! If I'd know how much you've done for SW and how impressive your resume is, I would have been reluctant to agree to be your licensure "supervisor"!

Fri, May 19, 2017 @ 8:46 PM

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