Honoring 100 for the 100th: Don Anderson

Image of Don AndersonDon Anderson is honored to be included as one of the 100 for the 100th anniversary celebration of the

Zarrow School of Social Work. During a social work career of over 40 years, he has seen the impact of the School of Social Work and its graduates in the lives of Oklahomans. He found that social workers are able to have a positive impact upon the lives of individuals, as well as influence public policy. He has worked in child welfare, substance abuse, domestic violence, mental health, and social work education.

Mr. Anderson is the Behavioral Health Director at Community Health Centers, Inc. (CHCI), a Federally Qualified Health Center serving 7 sites in Central Oklahoma. Mr. Anderson is a licensed clinical social worker and member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers. A California native, he was raised in Hominy, OK. He earned a BA in Government from Central State College in 1968 and a Master’s Degree in Social Work with a concentration in Community Organization & Planning, from the University of Arkansas in 1973. He was honored by the Central State University as a Distinguished Former Student in 1981.

Mr. Anderson was one of the first social workers elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

He served 4 terms in the House and during that time was chosen Legislator of the Year by the Oklahoma Association of Workshops & Community Residential Facilities, Top Ten Legislator by the Oklahoma Observer, and was chosen to receive the Humanitarian Award by the Oklahoma Association of Children Institutions and Agencies. Representative Anderson served 4 years as Chair of the Human Services Sub-Committee of the House Committee on the Appropriations and Budget Committee. He was the principal author of legislation providing protections to victims of domestic violence, expanding the opportunities for community group homes for the developmentally disabled, and the initial expansion of Medicaid. Representative Anderson was chosen by the Southern Governors Conference in 1987 to Co-Chair with Governor Mabus (D-Miss), The Southern Strategic Task Force on Adolescent Pregnancy.

In 1989, Mr. Anderson was selected as the Interim Commissioner of the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health. In 1991, he was selected as the first social worker to become Commissioner of the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services. He was awarded the Presidential Service Award in 1991 by the Oklahoma Association on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse. In 1998, He was chosen by the Latino Community Development Agency to receive the Guardian Angel Award.

Mr. Anderson has served on the faculties of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He has served as a Trustee in the Donna Nigh Foundation, and on numerous boards and committees which addressed human service needs on a community and state-wide level. He currently serves as a Trustee at Mayflower Congregational Church.

4 comments (Add your own)

1. Tom Kemper wrote:
I can think of no one more deserving of this award. Congratulations Don

Fri, March 10, 2017 @ 1:29 PM

2. Vicki Bott wrote:
Congratulations! You certainly deserved the honor and recognition.

Sat, March 11, 2017 @ 8:31 AM

3. Paula Grand-Place wrote:
I am so proud to know this beloved man! Congratulations Don!!
YOU inspire me!

Sat, March 11, 2017 @ 4:14 PM

4. Paula Grand-Place wrote:
I am so proud to know this beloved man! Congratulations Don!!
YOU inspire me!

Sat, March 11, 2017 @ 4:15 PM

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