NASW Pioneers Biography Index

The National Association of Social Workers Foundation is pleased to present the NASW Social Work Pioneers®. NASW Pioneers are social workers who have explored new territories and built outposts for human services on many frontiers. Some are well known, while others are less famous outside their immediate colleagues, and the region where they live and work. But each one has made an important contribution to the social work profession, and to social policies through service, teaching, writing, research, program development, administration, or legislation.

The NASW Pioneers have paved the way for thousands of other social workers to contribute to the betterment of the human condition; and they are are role models for future generations of social workers. The NASW Foundation has made every effort to provide accurate Pioneer biographies.  Please contact us at to provide missing information, or to correct inaccurate information. It is very important to us to correctly tell these important stories and preserve our history.  

Please note, an asterisk attached to a name reflects Pioneers who have passed away. All NASW Social Work Pioneers® Bios are Copyright © 2021 National Association of Social Workers Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

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Stanley G. Remer, MSSW
Stanley G. Remer

Pioneering Contributions

Stanley G. Remer, MSSW, was a pioneering legislative advocate for social work working in the early 1970s on a NASW Kansas Chapter Committee that developed and obtained passage of one of the first multilevel social work licensure laws in the United States. He also served, in the early 1980s, on the State Licensure Social Work Advisory Board in Kansas. While a member of the NASW Virginia Chapter, he was a strong advocate involved in the passage of “title protection” for social workers. He has been an active member of NASW since 1967, joining as a graduate social work student. He has served NASW in multiple leadership positions at the state level in three different states: Virginia, Missouri, and Indiana.  
Remer, in 1975, was commissioned as a social worker with the United States Army Reserve assigned to the 337th General Hospital. In 1977, he was a founding member and social work officer in the first U.S. Army Reserve Psychiatric Detachment (55th Medical Detachment) at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana. This was a major change in the use of social workers being used, for the first time, in the forward area of the Military Combat Theatre of Operations. This new role for social work officers dealing with combat stress came as a result of lessons learned from the Vietnam War. In the Army Reserve, Remer rose to the rank of Colonel commanding two Battalion level units (600 soldiers) and two Brigade level commands (2,000 soldiers). He was Commander of all the Reserve Hospitals and medical units in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and southern Missouri.  

Career Highlights

Remer started his career as an active duty social worker with the Indian Health Service in the U.S. Public Health Service. He then worked as an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas from 1970-1973. In 1974, Remer joined the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) as a medical social worker at the VA Medical Center, Fort Wayne, Indiana. He served at five different VA medical centers in positions of greater responsibility. He was Chief of Social Work at both the Wichita, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri VA medical centers and then was the Social Work Executive and Geriatric Care Line Manager at the DVA in Syracuse, New York. As a social work leader in the DVA he served on numerous national level social work leadership groups and completed the select VA training program ‘Leadership VA’. Currently, he is actively involved with legislative advocacy as a member of the Association of VA Social Workers as their Congressional Liaison.

Biographic Data

Remer received a BA Degree in Sociology and Social Work at the University of South Dakota in 1966, his MSW degree in 1968 from the University of Missouri, and in 1982 he added a MHA from the University of Cincinnati.

Significant Achievements and Awards

Remer is a graduate of Army War College and was awarded several Army Commendation and Meritorious Service Medals and the Army Legion of Merit. He has served on the national governing board for the Reserve Organization of America as an Army Committeeman. Other awards include:

1989-1991—President, Missouri Association of Hospital Social Work
1991—University of Missouri School of Social Work Agency Administrator of the Year 
1991—M0-KAN Chapter, Society of Social Work Leaders in Health Care, Social Work Administrator of the Year
1994-1996—President, University of Missouri School of Social Work Alumni Association and Chair for the 75th SSW Anniversary Committee 
2012—Faculty Member of the Year, University of Valley Forge – Virginia Campus 
2013—Society for Social Work Leadership in Heath Care National Ida M. Cannon Award 
2016-2017—President, Social Work Health Care Leadership Foundation 
2017—NASW Virginia Chapter, Lifetime Achievement Award 

Newly Inducted NASW Social Work Pioneer Hortense McClinton 2015

Nominate A New NASW Pioneer

Please note, Pioneer nominations made between today’s date through March 31, 2023, will not be reviewed until spring 2023.

Completed NASW Pioneer nominations can be submitted throughout the year and are reviewed at the June Pioneer Steering Committee Meeting. To be considered at the June meeting, submit your nomination package by March 31. To learn more, visit our Pioneer nomination guidelines.

New Pioneers 

Congratulations newly elected Pioneers!  2020, 2021 and 2022 Pioneers were inducted at the 2022 Annual Program and Luncheon. 

2022 Special Honoree