Chantal Johnson

“I Like My Baby Heir, With Baby Hairs and Afros”: Use of Story Theory in Addressing Maternal Health Outcomes for African American Veterans and Service Members

Chantal De’Anne Johnson LCSW, is a veterans justice outreach (VJO) social worker with the Department of Veterans Affairs in Los Angeles, CA. She currently serves as the acting VJO in Compton and Van Nuys community collaborative courts. She is also a Clinical Social Worker in the South Carolina National Guard where she holds the rank of 1st Lieutenant (1LT).

Chantal is a Historically Black College graduate, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from South Carolina State University in Orangeburg. She received her Master’s degree from the University of South Carolina, with a concentration in Military Social Work. She received a master’s level certificate in the Social and Behavioral Health of Military Members, Veterans, and Military families. She is currently a Social Work Doctoral Candidate at the University of Kentucky, with a concentration in Military Behavioral Health. Chantal’s DSW Capstone Project is titled “ I Like My Baby Heir With Baby Hair and Afros: The Use of Story Theory in Maternity Care for African American Military Moms”. Her research interests include maternal morbidity and mortality in veteran and military populations.

She is passionate about serving veterans and incarcerated populations. She understands the importance of providing second chances through reintegration services for veterans and offenders alike. Prior to working at the VA, she had over 8 years of experience in the South Carolina Department of Corrections as a social worker in various roles, from Director of Quality Improvement for Mental Health to GED Teacher. Her background includes experience in K-12 and prison education, prison mental health, community hospice, and geriatrics. Her academic interests include adult education, female veterans, and veterinary social work. Chantal’s personal hobbies include horseback riding, running, spending time with her dog “Sunny” and thrifting. Chantal is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

Chantal hopes to continue rising through the ranks at the Department of Veterans Affairs and also in the National Guard. She wishes to teach at the collegiate level about military and veterinary social work. And later blend her passions into a pet grooming and doggy daycare business that employs veterans and offenders in her rural hometown of Sumter, South Carolina.