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AVASW Social Worker of the Quarter 2018

AVASW Social Worker of the 1st Quarter
Jessica Pinder, LCSW
Jessica Pinder

Jessica Pinder Social Worker of the 1st Quarter is from the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Healthcare Center system.  Ms. Pinder obtained her MSW from Loyola University of Chicago and BSW from University of Illinois at Chicago Jane Adams College of Social Work. She completed her graduate internship at the North Chicago VA Medical Center in 2005 and came back to work at the Captain James Lovell Federal Healthcare Center in 2007.

Jessica works in the Veteran Justice Outreach (VJO) Program and is active in the Lake County community providing education about Veteran needs. When asked about her work with the VJO program, Jessica shared “I enjoy the challenge. I also enjoy “walking” through the Veterans court process with our Veterans.  Earning a Veterans trust, in the treatment process, is sacred and should be valued. I have always felt honored to achieve this.” In her nomination for AVASW Social Worker, it was noted “Ms. Pinder served as a committee member for specialty court development, pursuant to the Administrative Office of Illinois Courts regulations. Ms. Pinder additionally, has presented educational seminars for several organizations within the community. She presented on numerous occasions for the Women Attorneys of Lake County, regarding Veteran needs and the role of the VJO and VTAC in Lake County, IL, and she often informally educates new staff of the Lovell FHCC about the VJO program.”

Jessica believes that “Civil Service is a value that was instilled in me as a child.” Her husband is a Veteran and “I remember the difficulty and growth we experienced as a couple when he left active duty. From that experience, I became even more motivated to  serve.  I feel a strong duty to care for Veterans and feel privileged to work with them. I truly enjoy watching Veterans succeed and grow.”

From the several nominations for Social Worker of the 1st Quarter 2018, Jessica was selected as the AVASW Social Worker of the 1st Quarter. Congratulations to Jessica for her exceptional service to Veterans and the Lake County community!


AVASW Social Worker of the 2nd Quarter
Stephany Schroeder, LCSW

Stephany Schroeder is the AVASW Social Worker for the second quarter of 2018. Stephany is the Home Telehealth Coordinator at the Robert J Dole VAMC. She attended Simpson College and earned her a BA in Sociology. She graduated from St. Ambrose University with her MSW.

Stephany shared that she was drawn to social work after participating in high school project to replace a flag pole in the park. She enlisted the help of the local American Legion for the project. Stephany commented, “I remember them [American Legion] thanking me for remembering them and I was thinking how grateful I was for their help.” She completed two internships, one in Homeless Outreach and the other in Mental Health Intensive Case Management (MHICM). Upon receipt of her MSW, she pursued and completed a Psychosocial Rehabilitation Fellowship at the VAMC in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Following the completion of this Fellowship, she was hired as a HUD/VASH Case Manager and helped many Veterans obtain and keep housing. In 2011, she moved to Wichita, Kansas to become the Caregiver Support Coordinator. Stephany was instrumental in the implementation and development of this program and was the Coordinator for several years before becoming a Care Coordinator with the Home Telehealth Program. She was able to utilize her background skills of Mental Health Recovery and Caregiver Support to assist and monitor Veterans with Behavioral Health issues and also assistance to caregivers of those with dementia or other mental/medical conditions.

When asked why she loves her job as a social worker, Stephany stated “because I do a little bit of everything. I use behavioral health for Veterans with anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. I use technology with telehealth. I work with caregivers. I love the holistic approach.”
Stephany is actively involved in the MSW internship program at the Robert Dole VA. She commented, “It has come full circle with me helping other professionals. There were others who invested in me and now I can give it back, pay it forward.”

Stephany described herself as “a passionate advocate for not only Veterans and their families, but also my peers. I am constantly striving to be an Agent of Change within the VA system and seeking ways to continuously improve.”

Congratulations Stephany Schroeder, for receiving the  2018 AVASW Social Worker of the 2nd Quarter Award.



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