NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
John Reida had a long a productive career with the Veterans Administration. After completing his education at Boston University, receiving a bachelor of arts in 1950 and a master of social work in 1952, he joined the VA's Social Work Service program as a clinical social worker. Reida advanced from Assistant Chief to Chief and then Area Chief, Social Work Service. In 1965, he joined the Washington, DC central office staff as Chief, Social Work Community Programs.
Reida was a rare combination of the qualities one expects in a professional social worker, and he possessed the integrity, loyalty, self-confidence, and can do spirit of a U.S. Marine. During World War II, Reida served with the 1st Marine Division in the Pacific, participating in landings on Guadalcanal. This background served him and his agency well in his final assignment as Chief, Social Work Administrative Standards and Services.
Reida dragged the Social Work Service program into the new age of computer programs for statistical indicators, work measurement, quality control, and statistical models for criteria and standards for service delivery and outcomes. His eclectic approach to the role of social work in society served to enlarge his contribution in a number of assignments such as: task force on outreach to Spanish speaking veterans; liaison with military social work in the coordination of services to Vietnam veterans; committee on investigative ombudsman for nursing homes; VA delegate and board member, National Health Council; and special outreach and programs for Native American veterans.