VA New Jersey Health Care System
Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn Staff Bios
Alexander Herzog began his social work career with the James J. Peters Medical Center in the Bronx, NY, as an intern in 2006. He shortly thereafter joined VA New Jersey Health Care System to work with Homeless Services and the Domiciliary at Lyons. Alex accepted a position at the Bronx VA in 2012 as a Social Work Supervisor in Substance Abuse Services where he also served as Co-Chair of the Social Work Council. In that capacity, he spearheaded the Professional Development Committee and organized educational programs and opportunities for the Social Work staff. Alex returned to the VA New Jersey Health Care System as the Program Manager for Transition and Care Management (TCM) Services in November 2016. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Emory University and Masters in Social Work Degree from Wurzweiler School of Social Work. Alex is proud of his grandfather who served with the Coast Guard during World War II, his cousin who served recently oversees with the Marines, and his wife’s uncle and two brothers who were officers in the Navy.
Christine Betros is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a graduate degree from New York University. She began her career with the VA in 2008 at the Trenton Vet Center and in 2009 transferred to Lyons, working in the Extended Care Service line with Veterans at end of life. Christine was an inpatient Social Worker on the Promise House hospice unit from 2009-2015. She pursued advanced social work training in Palliative and End of Life Care (PELC) in 2010 and completed the Zelda Foster Leadership Fellowship in PELC in 2015. Christine is also a Grief Recovery Specialist. Currently, Christine is a part-time lecturer at Rutgers University School of Social Work and teaches Loss Across the Lifespan, which focuses on the psychosocial stages of development and the nondeath losses and life transitions that produce grief reactions. Christine employs a grief perspective when working with returning and transitioning Veterans, providing case management and serving as a referral resource for Veterans in need.
Jennifer Garcia has been employed by the Department of Veteran Affairs since April 2008 as a Social Work Care Manager for the Transition and Care Management Program. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Rutgers University in 2004 and joined the VA briefly in 2005 where she worked at Fort Monmouth and Lyons VA Campuses. In 2006, Jennifer returned to graduate school and completed her Masters in Social Work Degree from Rutgers University. In 2008, she returned to the VA as a Transition and Care Manager working with the returning Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn Veterans. Her passion and dedication to helping our nation's Veterans stems from her upbringing. Her father is a combat Veteran who served in Vietnam. The early experiences with the VA, along with her father's experiences, lead Jennifer to strive for a career in Social Work and with the VA. She currently works out of the Brick VA clinic four days a week and at the Hamilton VA Clinic one day a week.
Robin Baptiste has been employed with the VA since 1996, after spending 10 years in the Air Force as a Communications Specialist. Robin is a Persian Gulf veteran, serving 2 tours in the Middle East. She is a graduate of Rutgers University, with a Bachelor's of English and plans to pursue a Master's Degree in Public Administration. Robin has worked for several different departments since joining the VA, and plans to bring her knowledge and experience of being a veteran and the transitioning process to the OEF/OIF/OND team, having experienced it herself.
Kaydeen Bishop was born in St. Catharine, Jamaica, West Indies, and migrated to the United States to pursue her tertiary education. Kaydeen completed her Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology at Hunter College in 2000. She began her career working with victims of domestic violence who were accused of killing and/or assaulting their abusive partners and ran a support group for women who were detained at the Rose M. Singer Detention Center on Riker’s Island. After completing her Masters of Social Work Degree from Fordham University in 2004, she worked for Prison Health Services (PHS) as a Mental Health Clinician and an Acting Unit Chief on Riker’s Island. Kaydeen has provided crisis intervention, clinical assessments, and diagnoses to adolescents and male detainees, as well as served as an administrative liaison for PHS and the New York City Department of Corrections. In 2009, Kaydeen joined the James J. Peters (Bronx) VA Medical Center as a Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing Case Manager. She transferred to the VA New Jersey Health Care System in 2013 to serve in her current position as a Transition and Care Management Case Manager and also co-facilitates the Warrior 2 Soul Mate Couples Communication training held quarterly at the VA New Jersey Health Care System.
Carol Cashin graduated from Fordham University with a Master’s in Social Work Degree with a concentration in administration. She had worked in the brain injury field for ten years. Her work has included working with individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury, acquired brain injuries, and Huntington’s Disease. She started her career as an intern at JFK-Johnson Rehabilitation Center for Head Injuries and enjoyed working with this population so much that she devoted most of her career to working with children, adults, and families that have been affected by brain injury. Carol has also worked in hospice, at a long-term care rehabilitation center, and has worked as a group psychotherapist and served as a director of an affordable housing complex for individuals with brain injuries and developmental disabilities. Most recently, Carol worked for the Brain Injury Association of New Jersey as the Director of Family Support. She is very excited to be here at the VA and use her experience to assist those Veterans whom have sustained brain injuries.
Lou was born and raised in Buffalo, New York, and upon graduation from high school, he entered the Army in 1969 and served until 1971 as a military policeman. He comes from a line of military family members who served in WWll. His father was a combat wounded POW. Upon Lou’s discharge, he worked for Ford Motor Company. He graduated from nursing school in 1984 with an Associate of Science Degree and began his nursing career with the Department of Veterans Affairs, obtaining his Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing along the way. He has over ten years of experience in the mental health field and 11 years of experience working in the Emergency Department.
Barbara O’Hanlon is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a graduate degree from Fordham University. She has over 20 years of experience working in the mental health field, including inpatient, outpatient, and day treatment settings. For the past eight years, she has provided case management services to Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn transitioning Veterans. She is also active with the Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Behavioral Health Interdisciplinary Program teams. She finds it very rewarding to assist all eras of Veterans in accessing the services they need to resolve their problems and improve their quality of life.
Ms. Lee was born in South Korea and moved to the United State to pursue her Master’s degree in Social Work in 1999. She graduated from SUNY Albany with a concentration in Geriatric Social Work. After graduation, Ms. Lee worked for individuals new to the United States experiencing psychosocial stress and mental health issues including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and Adjustment Disorder. Before joining the OEF/OIF/OND team, Ms. Lee worked at a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Adult Day Care Program. As a TBI Program Coordinator, Ms. Lee developed a Day Treatment Program and facilitated group therapies, recreational therapies, support groups, stress management groups, and Yoga groups.
Fran Michaels has been employed with the VA for 15 years. She has been a volunteer with Office of Emergency Management and served with the Fort Lee Crisis Team at the G W Bridge during 9/11. Fran is a graduate of NYU with a Bachelor's degree in English Education, Master's degree in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling, a graduate of the Columbia School of Social Work, and a PhD from Union Institute & University in Social Work and Gerontology. Fran is honored to be a permanent member of the OEF/OIF/OND team.
Ms. Neville has been a Registered Nurse with the VA New Jersey Health Care System since 2007. The majority of her tenure has been dedicated toward the case management of service men and women prior to their deployment and of returning military transitioning to civilian life. Her responsibilities have included assessing soldier’s medical, psychological and psychosocial needs immediately upon returning from theatre. Recently, Ms. Neville transferred to the VA New Jersey OEF/OIF/OND program. As a nurse, a case manager, and the daughter of a Veteran, Ms. Neville brings a thorough and compassionate understanding of the needs and challenges of our Veterans and their families.