Meet the Team: Wanda Crawford
Each and every staff member at the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Centerstone not only plays a crucial role in accomplishing our mission to ensure our military families receive the care they’ve earned, but they do so from the heart and with a passion that can’t help but to inspire. Here’s a closer look at one such member of our Fayetteville team, Clinic Director Wanda Crawford.
Tell me a little bit about yourself, such as where you grew up and your background leading up to joining CVN? I was born and raised in Raleigh, N.C. I moved to Fayetteville, N.C. to attend Fayetteville State University (FSU). I graduated from Needham B. Broughton High School with aspirations to go to North Carolina State University and play basketball under head coach Kay Yow. However, my big sister, who was in the military, had just had a baby. She asked me to come to stay with her, care for my nephew, and attend college in the evening. I agreed. I met my husband, Wes, now a retired 26-year Special Forces veteran during my sophomore year at FSU, and never went back to Raleigh. We have lived in the Fayetteville community for 30+ years. We raised a daughter who is now 30 years old, married and lives in Fort Jackson, S.C. with her service member husband who is a drill sergeant. I am the proud grandmother of two—3-year-old Sebastian and a 17-month-old Alexandria. Being a “Bebe” (grandmother in Swahili) is the best feeling in the world. We also have a 17-year-old son, who is a Jr. in high school and is my favorite basketball player! I have worked for both civilian and military organizations over my career. My last position was with the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), where I developed, implemented, managed and evaluated the behavioral health programs for HQ JSOC and 15 geographically separated sites. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, and a master’s degree in Social Work. I am so excited to be a part of the Cohen Clinic at Centerstone serving our military veterans and their families.
You’ve taken life experience and built a career to help others, what was your greatest takeaway from this process? That one person can be impactful. That humans really are more important than hardware, and that people matter because their stories matter. I would add that my experience of being a military spouse, coupled with being a provider of care for service members, has helped me value others and their life stories more than ever.
How have things been going at the clinic since you arrived? The onboarding process has been very professional. Given all things have happened virtually, I have been impressed by the support that I have received. We are not in our clinic yet, however, we are able to interact virtually and come up with creative ways to connect with each other and our clients.
What do you hope for clinic and your clients? My hope is that the Fayetteville-Fort Bragg community will re-engage the staff and the services we offer very quickly and maximize us to the fullest. It is my hope that the Fayetteville clinic will represent the core values of Cohen Veterans Network: leading with integrity, having a community focus, and setting a standard of care that is excellence. If we do that, then veterans and their families will be highly satisfied with the care they receive and will refer us to their friends and family.
What do you like to do for fun? I love to watch my son play competitive basketball. I love to read, ride bikes and spend time with my grandbabies and my family—they mean everything to me!
Favorite sports team? The Charlotte Hornets, Carolina Panthers and the NC State Wolfpack!