NASW member wins best documentary

Jul 6, 2016

By Paul R. Pace, News staff

NASW member Sherry Saturno won Best Documentary Film in NASW’s annual Media Awards this year.

Sherry Saturno

Sherry Saturno

“Human Investment” examines what drives physicians, nurses, social workers, educators, and other professionals to invest themselves in helping others.

“I wanted to try to understand what motivates professionals to invest themselves in the humanity of care,” Saturno said of why she was inspired to take on the project that she wrote and directed.

“Social workers, nurses, physicians, educators: they really are heroes in a million different ways and I thought the work they do sometimes goes unnoticed,” she said. “So, I wanted to highlight how caring and supportive these professionals are and why their work speaks volumes about the humanity of care.”

Saturno, who is the director of Social Services for Sprain Brook Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Scarsdale, N.Y., said working on the film taught her that “all we really have is this present moment.”

“It showed me what an impact these professionals can have and not even realize it,” she explained. “For some of these clients that are alone, (professionals) are providing an indescribably important role.”

Filmmaking is a hobby for Saturno and she said she learned about it from friend involved in film classes, which gave her insight into the power of telling stories on film.

“I am deeply honored,” she said of winning Best Documentary. “I didn’t expect it to win … I think that other social workers might have seen something of themselves in (the film).”

Saturno said she “definitely” plans to do another film in the future. “Whatever I do next, it will continue to tell the story of what social workers do – what kind of powerful impact they have on the lives of their clients,” she said.

“Human Investment” can be viewed at YouTube at

The 2016 NASW Media Award winners also include:

Column: “Social workers can play a role in a Corporate setting” by Cossy Hough, Special to the Fort Worth Star-Telegra. Social workers are not just needed in social service settings. They can also provide an invaluable role in helping corporations function and reach out the communities where their customers live, according to social work educator Cossy Hough. – See more at:

Radio: “Schools must be prepared to respond to suicides” by Maiken Scott, WHYY Radio. NASW member Jonathan Singer talks about why schools and even mental health professionals are afraid to talk about suicide with children, although such discussions are important. There is a huge myth that if schools talk about suicide they will raise possibility that children will attempt to do it, Singer said. – See more at:

TV News: “Library social worker helps homeless seeking quiet refuge” by Judy Woodruff. PBS San Francisco has discovered that having a full-time social worker in a library has enabled the city to provide services to thousands of people who are homeless who seek refuge there. – See more at:

Newspaper: “The social worker will see you now” by Arielle Levin Becker, The CT Mirror. A doctor’s office in Connecticut hired a social worker to help patients who may also be experiencing a mental health issue. The strategy has worked – with patients have better outcomes. – See more at:

Magazine: “Let’s talk about suicide: Language matters” By Jonathan Singer and Sean Erreger, The New Social Worker. The language surrounding suicide frequently changes. WENTARY:at was considered politically correct at one point no longer is at another. Read this article to learn why the way suicide is expressed is so important. – See more at:

Feature Film: Actress Tonye Patano in “Time Out of Mind.” Patano plays homeless shelter social worker Ms. Jackson, who uses a mixture of no-nonsense, empathy and kindness to reach out to a man (actor Richard Gere) who has found himself homeless but has not faced the reality of his situation.

See more information about the award winners at:



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