Silberman School of Social Work mourns the loss of the beloved Dr. Rose Dobrof, who passed away on October 17, 2015.
Dr. Dobrof, over her professional career, was responsible for the development of the field of gerontological social work. From the time she entered social work practice, she was been committed to services for the elderly. She created Hunter College (CUNY) Brookdale Center on Aging –a multiple purpose organization serving seniors. She secured the originating grant and served as its Executive Director until her retirement in 1994. She was for many years after her retirement the Brookdale Professor of Gerontology at Hunter College.
Dr. Dobrof was a nationally recognized expert in the field of aging. She was the Editor of the Journal of Gerontological Social Work. She was the author of over fifty publications and innumerable presentations in both professional and lay forums. She had been an active researcher responsible for more than ten solo and multi-professional grant-funded projects dealing with specialized services for the elderly. Dr. Dobrof influenced hundreds of health and mental practitioners to a consciousness in services for the elderly. She was involved in the field as co-director in the Hartford Hunter Gerontology program, co-director in the Mount Sinai School of Medicine/Hunter Long Term Care Gerontology Center and lectured at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Columbia University School of Social Work (her doctorate alma mater) and Hunter College, along with world-wide visiting lectureships.
Dr. Dobrof was a presidential appointee to the White House Conference on Aging, the Federal Council of Aging and served on the Advisory Committee of the National Institute of Aging. In 1999, she was chosen to co-chair the U.S.-Committee for the Celebration of the United Nations Year of Older Persons. The Mayor of New York, the Governor of New York, and the President’s Secretary of HHS have each drawn on her knowledge in their planning for the elderly.
During her lifetime, Dr. Dobrof received many recognitions from the public, foundations and community and clearly she made a very remarkable contribution to enhance services to the elderly. With all of these commitments, she has always been available to help students, faculty and colleagues in our profession.
Rose was an extraordinary social worker, a wonderful mother, and a great woman –she will be missed by her Silberman colleagues. We are all privileged to have known Dr. Rose Dobrof – she made the world a better place.