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Linda Schwartz ’84MSN, ’98DPH: a veterans' advocate who's been there

In 1983, when Linda Spoonster Schwartz ’84MSN, ’98DPH, was a flight nurse in the Air Force reserves, she suffered a traumatic brain injury when the hatch blew off an airplane she was riding in during a training exercise. She was unable to work for months, and she was discharged from the service.

It was a low point in her life, Schwartz told the New Haven Register earlier this year. But it also gives her unusual insight into the problems of veterans, an advantage she may soon be taking to Washington, DC. Last Friday, President Obama appointed Schwartz to be the next Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs for Policy and Planning, subject to Senate confirmation.

Schwartz has been Connecticut's commissioner of veterans affairs since 2003. She has earned wide acclaim in that role, getting a new state veterans health center built and leading the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs.

A veteran of active duty in the Air Force during the Vietnam war, Schwartz studied to be a psychiatric nurse practitioner at the School of Nursing—where she later worked as a research scientist—and got a doctorate from the School of Public Health. She has spent decades as a researcher and advocate dealing with the problems of veterans.

"She is both passionate about her work and compassionate about those she serves— personal qualities that will go far in serving the needs of veterans across the country," wrote the Norwich Bulletin this week in support of her appointment.


Filed under veterans, Linda Schwartz, School of Public Health, School of Nursing
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