SWLHC Member Stan Remer Inducted into the NASW Social Work Pioneers Program

SSWLHC is excited to share that long time SSWLHC member STAN REMER inducted into the NASW Social Work Pioneers program.

When asked what this honor meant to him, along with looking back on his SW career that led to this honor, Stan offered the following reflections:

In 2020, I was privileged and honored to be selected by the NASW Foundation as an NASW Social Work Pioneer.   My social work career has been shaped, in large part, by my involvement and membership in NASW, SSWLHC and my work with the DVA in various leadership assignments. 

In the late 1960’s, CSWE was doing research on the direction for the field of social work and social work education.  In making my choice for the University of Missouri for graduate study, I had to select whether to be part of one of two options:  an experimental 1-year graduate program in Kansas City or a traditional two-year program on the main campus in Columbia, Missouri.  I chose the two-year program.   As a graduate social work student, I joined NASW and have been an active member to date.

Until 1969, NASW was an MSW only organization, except for those who were grand parented in when it was created in 1955.  I had a strong interest in legal regulation, and as I moved to Topeka, Kansas in 1970, I became part of a group of NASW members working on multilevel licensure for social work.  I was a professor of social work in a BSW program (Washburn University) and led Kansas in becoming one of the first states with multilevel licensure for social work.  

In 1974, I joined the Department of Veterans Affairs and completed their development program (SWALT) to become a Chief of Social Work.  In 1979, I moved to Louisville, KY as a new supervisor.   At this point I became involved with the Society.  SSWLHC was then only open to individuals in social work leadership positions.  In 1982, I moved to Wichita, KS where I accepted my first position as a Chief of Social Work in DVA.   When I arrived, I sought out opportunities for involvement with the SSWLHC and reached out to Joan Upshaw, who then was Director of Social Work at Shawnee Mission Medical Center, Overland Park, KS as well as being President of the MO-KAN Chapter.    

From 1983 to 1984, I was on the Kansas Behavioral Science Social Work Advisory Board.  I served as Chief of Social Work at the Kansas City DVA from 1985 until 2003.  I also served as the Treasurer and President of the MO-KAN Chapter and was Co-Chair of the local Planning committee that brought the national conference of the SSWLHC to Kansas City.

The later part of my career has taken me to Syracuse, NY, Washington, DC and Virginia.  Since local chapters of the SSWLHC were not available in these areas I chose to maintain, until this date, my chapter membership with the MO-KAN chapter.

I remain continually active with social work organizations as I have served on the Board of Directors for the VA Chapter, NASW and was on the ballot for the office of National NASW Region V in 2018.   I am currently Legislative and Congressional Liaison for the Association of VA Social Workers (AVASW).   I have served on numerous national committees for the Society to include membership, Annual Conference Planning Committee, Nominating Committee, Awards Committee Chair, National Board, and President of the Social Work Health Leadership Foundation Board.

When reading this It is easy to understand why Stan is so well deserving of this accolade and honor. Congrats Stan on being an outstanding leader in the field of Social Work.