Social Worker of the Year Lt. Col. Liquori L. Etheridge

October 30, 2020
Social worker of the year

Lt. Col. Liquori L. Etheridge isn't a man of few words but, after winning the Army's Social Worker of the Year for 2020, he was left speechless. Etheridge, who works in the Department of Social Work at William Beaumont Army Medical Center, was named the Army's Social Worker of the Year for 2020.

Etheridge has ten years of active duty service and has been a licensed clinical social worker for 11 years.

“I initially wanted to become a psychologist, but during my OIF deployment I met a Division Behavioral Health Officer who was a social worker," Etheridge said. "He was instrumental in explaining how the field of social work contributed to sustaining a ready force by providing for the mental and emotional needs of the force. I understood the impact years of combat had on Soldiers and family members."

The award is presented annually to active duty social workers in the field of 73A (Social Worker). The award recognizes one officer from lieutenant to captain and one officer from major to colonel; the social worker is selected by a panel appointed by the Social Work Consultant to the Surgeon General.

Etheridge was directly responsible for managing over 400 Joint Commission Behavioral Health standards, compliance for 2018 The Joint Commission (TJC) findings, and updating the WBAMC 18-05 policy focused on the National Patient Safety Guideline (NPSG) 15.01.01, reducing risk for suicide. His contribution and efforts greatly contributed to WBAMC’s stellar performance during the behavioral health portion of the TJC survey.

"The mental health field can take a mental and emotional toll on providers. Social workers often focus so much on caring for the needs of others that they neglect themselves," Etheridge said.

Etheridge's dedication to social work and helping those in need was recognized in 2018 as he was nominated and selected by senior leaders and his peers to be the 73A Deputy Consultant. Etheridge continues to mentor fellow social workers by providing guidance on career progression in Social Work and Clinical Psychology.

"I felt that I could serve in a different capacity by meeting the psychological and emotional needs of our population," Etheridge said.

Etheridge credited the people who have mentored him during his career as a Social Worker. "I have several military mentors like Dr. Dexter Freeman, Col. Nathan Keller, Col. Steve Lewis, and Col. Jeffrey Yarvis," he said.

"Lt. Col. Etheridge has been a model for other social workers to emulate throughout his career. He is emblematic of today's multi-talented leader-warrior-clinician-scholar that our Corps wants to produce. Etheridge is very deserving of this prestigious award," said Jeffrey.S.Yarvis, Doctor of Philosophy, and Licensed Clinical Social worker Department of Social Work, at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center.

First appeared on Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS) website