Distinguished Alumnus

Barry University Distinguished Alumni Awards

Stephanie L. Rakofsky, MA, MSW '81, LCSW, CCM, C-ASWCM

Medical Social Work Leader and Change Agent

Throughout her long and storied career, Stephanie Rakofsky has focused on social betterment through the medium of social work. She began her career in Florida as head of the first social work department at Coral Gables Hospital. She was then recruited to South Miami Hospital (SMH) where she expanded the department and was instrumental in initiating charity medications and equipment rental for patients in financial need. Rakofsky also established the Behavioral and Collaborative Medicine Program, EAP and Counseling Program at SMH, and the disaster related BHSF Family Reunification Centers.

Rakofsky pioneered the Baptist Health/South Miami Hospital Perinatal Bereavement Team, and also coordinated the Miami-Dade County coalition to save abandoned newborns, which later became a statewide movement. More recently she was the Project Manager for Cancer Patient Support Services at the Baptist Health Miami Cancer Institute.

Rakofsky has been honored as National Social Worker of the Year and Florida Social Work Leader of the Year by the Society for Social Work Leaders in Healthcare; and Florida Social Worker of the Year and Miami Dade Social Worker of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers. She has also received the Barry University Community Service Awards and the FIU PATH Award.

She has served as the chair of the South Florida Chapter of the Society for Social Work Leaders in Health Care for two terms and has been the president of the Florida Chapter for the past four years. She currently serves as the vice president of the Barry University Alumni Board of Directors.

Rakofsky lives in Coral Gables and is married to Dr. Sanford Rakofsky, an ophthalmologist. She has five adult sons and three grandchildren.