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AVASW Social Worker of the Quarter 2015

AVASW Social Worker of the 1st Quarter
Kelly Estle, LCSW, DCSW
Kelly Estle
AVASW is proud to select Kelly Estle as the Social Worker of the 1st Quarter! Ms. Estle currently serves as the Coordinator for the Medical Foster Care program at the Mobile, AL VA Medical Center.  She recently transitioned from the Homeless program in Mobile, where she spent the bulk of her time getting that program up and running.

Ms. Estle received her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1998. She holds a  ACSW, QCSW, DCSW and PIP.  She currently serves as a Board member on the Professional Standards Board for the Gulf Coast VA Social Worker staff.  Kelly is a member of the NASW and a past member of the University Of Alabama School Of Social Work Advisory Board.  She has provided supervision for MSW students as well as providing clinical supervision for LCSW licensure requirements.  As a professional who has worked with a variety of populations, Ms. Estle can be seen as a role model for all of us. Whether it is providing counseling for foster parents, planning fundraising events in support of Rural AIDS initiatives, managing United Way events, or just plain treatment implementation, Ms. Estle is always at the forefront, being an advocate for her clients.

Kelly works with community agencies, and served as the VA Chair for the first “Project Connect” held in Mobile 2013 serving all homeless persons in the area.  She regularly participates in local fundraising events for homeless shelters in her area.  Also, as an active member in the Mobile Junior League, Kelly volunteers her time with non-profit organizations in the community.  Excerpt from Inspire (a Newsletter from the Office of Patient Centered Care):
In addition to being a dedicated and patient centered Social Worker, Kelly is also an artist. She is a photographer but also paints and draws using watercolors and oils. She is active in the Mobile Junior League where she frequently do-nates her artwork for auction.

She is terribly excited about her new position at the VA, as she is able to once again use her skills in bringing a program to life. The program is in the “beginning stages”, and she is taking over at a time when the program is growing nationally. She is always up for a “new challenge”, and developing and growing the Medical Foster Home program in Mobile is her way of giving back. Even though she will miss the clients she has worked with in the past few years, she shares she is “still serving the needs of the Veterans”.
In a Blog on August 6, 2014 a Veteran describes Ms. Estle as his “guardian angel” (http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/14842/in-mobile-ala-homeless-veterans-have-a-guardian-angel/). He goes on to say that in his hour of need, Ms. Estle was there to step up and help out.

In celebration of SW month, Ms. Estle attended a SW retreat, where “enthusiasm is contagious” and she shares how she is encouraged and motivated to help Veterans, “It’s rewarding trying to make their lives better”. When asked what drives Ms. Estle, she states “my co-workers and Social Work Chief”, of course! As
always, the humble response.

Congratulations Kelly!

 

AVASW Social Worker of the 2nd Quarter
Pamela Rezabek, LCSW
Pam Rezabek

AVASW is proud to select Pamela Rezabek as the Social Worker of the 2nd Quarter! Ms. Rezabek currently serves in the Mental Health care line, at the Houston, TX. VA Medical Center, and has been there since 1989.  For the past 25 years she has practiced in the Mental Health Care Line with a focus in Geriatric Psychiatry. According to her co-workers “Pam has a passion for geriatrics and is the “go to” person for consultation and assistance with difficult to place patients”. They go on to say “Pam is always positive and willing to share her knowledge and expertise with others”.

Not only does Ms. Rezabek use her clinical skills while working with individual clients, she facilitates groups, she fills in for other staff, and volunteers when she can. Nothing brings her more joy at work than to see a Veteran gain some valuable knowledge, insight, or, how she puts it,  “thrilled in their spirit”.

Being passionate about her work, she not only puts herself out there to contribute to boards and committees, she is also a VA Mentor and Clinical Instructor for Baylor College of Medicine.  When asked how she has been so successful these many years, she shares how she is consistent in her self-care, including massage, family time, reading, cooking and visiting friends.

Among the many accolades Ms. Rezabek has received are numerous Special Contribution awards at her local VA.  She has also had the honor of being the MH Care Line SW of the Year Nominee, and received the Certificate of Appreciation in 2012.
Ms. Rezabek has co-authored several articles written in esteemed publications such as The Journal of Ethics, Law and Aging, Gerontology Social Work, and Psychiatry Services, with elderly patients as the central theme.

She is extremely humble and shares that she is “very blessed”.  She believes that no matter what the challenge, “as long as you love what you do, you always come back to being the best you can be".

Congratulations Pamela!

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