VA New Jersey Health Care System
Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn Staff Bios
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.
Joseph served in the United States Army from 2007-2013, with one tour in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from 2008-2009. After receiving an Honorable Discharge, Joseph earned his Master’s in Social Work from Rutgers University and is currently a Licensed Social Worker in the state of NJ. He began his career serving as a social work intern for the Community Living Center at the Lyons campus. He shortly thereafter joined the Transition and Care Management family as a TBI/Polytrauma Case Manager. Joseph comes from a long history of Army Veterans, where at least one male from each generation served in the U.S. Army. He is passionate about his work with Veterans and continues to give back to the Veteran community.
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.
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.
Janie Meadows has been employed with the VA for 28 years. She has a background in finance, worked on Wall Street, and changed careers to align with her passion for her church and volunteering. Janie is proud of her 3 siblings who served in the Army. Her brother received a Purple Heart for injuries sustained while in Vietnam and her sister retired from service after 20 years. Janie’s career with the VA started in Registration/Eligibility. She went on to work in the ER, organized the startup of the Hackensack CBOC, was the Coordinator for the Pre-Admission Department and was a Supervisor in the Pre-Registration Dept. She later worked in Outreach before coming to the Transition Unit 6 years ago. Janie, with her welcoming smile, is often the first person from the VA to contact new Veterans and is able to quickly enroll them.
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.
Germaine Ogiste received his undergraduate degree in Sociology from St. Peter’s College in 2006. He received his Master’s degree in Social Work from Adelphi University in 2008. While at Adelphi, Germaine completed an internship with the James J. Peters VA Medical Center in Bronx, NY, which ignited his passion for working with Veterans. Germaine was hired by the VA New Jersey Healthcare System in 2014 as a Social Worker in the Lyons Domiciliary and joined the Transition and Care Management team in 2018. From 2010 – 2014, he worked with individuals in correctional facilities as well as assisted those recently released from psychiatric hospitals. He is adept at linking people to needed resources and providing assistance with navigating social service organizations.