Lee Suszycki was the founder and first president of our Society. She was passionate about many things, including education, writing, publication, social work and transplantation. The Society for Transplant Social Workers is a direct outgrowth of her vision for social workers practicing in transplantation.
Judy Midelfort was a founding member of the Society, one of the first to publish on psychosocial issues in transplantation and a strong supporter of professional growth and education. In honor of both Lee and Judy and their dedication to our Society, two memorial awards have been established.
These are presented at each annual conference to two members of the Society who have made significant contributions to the field of social work in transplantation. Contributions include, but are not limited to, publishing, public speaking, research projects or developing new tools or programs. Nominations should be forwarded to the President and should include a brief statement describing the nominee’s contributions to the field.
Recent Award Winners
2022 Award Winners
Kristin Malaer - Suszycki Award
Kristin has been a transplant social worker for 7+ years. She has worked in Heart and Lung Transplant and MCS. Her forte is MCS social work for which she has become a national leader. Kristin is described as a strong clinician who is skilled in all aspects of social work and a strong advocate for her patients and their families. Kristin is the lead social worker for the transplant education program at the Memorial Hermann TMC Heart and Lung Transplant Center. Kristin has been instrumental in organizing and facilitating both live as well as on-line transplant classes. She has worked diligently with the Memorial Hermann Marketing and Education Teams to update and re-film the current classes.
Kristin joined the STSW Board Member as the MCS Chair in 2019. She has brought energy to the MCS Committee that has resulted in an increase in participation and a vitality. Kristin has presented at our conference multiple times and spearheaded the efforts for members to obtain transplant-specific contact hours when participating in MCS Committee meetings
Additionally, Kristin is a strong supporter of professional growth and education for our MCS social work colleagues through her leadership as the MCS Committee Chair. Kristin is a passionate social worker who has been a leader in our Heart Transplant and MCS Program, and in the national/International arena through her work with STSW, Abbott, and ICCAC. Kristin is a respected member of the Heart Transplant and MCS Team. Her expertise and advice is sought by not only our Team but also by MCS social workers across the country. Kristin is representative of all that is excellent in the field of transplant and MCS social work. Her work locally and nationally has advanced the role of the MCS social worker and STSW.