Blake Schroedter, Psy.D., is an Adler University graduate and associate professor in the Online Campus Military Psychology program. He is also a clinical psychologist and heads the Effingham Clinic for the Road Home Program run by the Rush, an academic health system in Illinois. The clinic serves men and women in Central Illinois returning from military service. A veteran himself, Schroedter was awarded the Bronze Star and Golden Combat Spurs in 2009 during a deployment to Afghanistan for his role in training and operating with the Afghanistan National Army. He was recently named to the Illinois Bicentennial Honor 200 list for “going above and beyond in serving fellow veterans and their communities.” We talked to Schroedter about his journey and work to help fellow veterans.
What is the Road Home Program and why was it important to you to be a part of it?
The Road Home Program was founded in 2014 at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. It provides support, counseling, and mental health care services to veterans and their families, tailored to their individual needs. I joined in 2016 and assisted in the launch of the Road Home Program Effingham Satellite Clinic in Effingham, Ill., which is important because it is the program’s first outpatient clinic. The purpose of this clinic is to increase access to and quality of care to rural veterans throughout Central Illinois where there was a significant gap in Department of Veterans Affairs services.
How does the Road Home Program align with Adler University’s mission?
I think the Road Home Program and the Adlerian principles are closely aligned because we use a holistic approach to provide care and meet veterans where they are in their road to recovery to help them re-integrate back into their communities, and to help them strive to meet their life goals.
What is the future of the program? Are there any changes ahead?
The Chicago location will remain focused on providing intensive outpatient post-traumatic stress disorder treatment to veterans throughout the nation. We will be conducting evaluations and flying in veterans from all over the country. In addition, we are planning to expand the outpatient program in Chicago.
In the near future, the clinic in Effingham will continue to find ways to break down barriers for veterans, which includes launching a tele-therapy program that can offer therapy to military veterans located in Illinois who have a barrier to care, such as distance, transportation, or a financial barrier. We can provide this treatment to veterans at home, given there are no safety concerns. This is both progressive and a significant resource for Illinois veterans.
What does being included in the “Honor 200” list mean to you?
I am honored to be included in the list and aim to use it has a platform to create a conversation around the invisible wounds of war and the need for communities to do more to help integrate veterans back into our communities.