Wendy Nawara, MSW, is an ASPIRE Founding Board member and Past-President. A lifelong desire to help families and children led Wendy to earn a Bachelor of Science in elementary education with concentrations in both early childhood and special education at Butler University, and a Master of Social Work degree at Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois. Wendy is a member of the National Association of Social Work (NASW) and the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA).
Wendy established PANDAS/PANS Advocacy and Support (PAS) in 2013. Serving as President of the Board and Executive Director of the non-profit, she worked to institute the community’s first grant-giving program. Additionally, Wendy and a team of parents and legislators in Illinois were the first to pass legislation requiring insurance coverage for treatments of PANS/PANDAS. She sits on the Illinois PANS/PANDAS Advisory Council and collaborates freely with other state teams to accomplish similar goals. Drawing on over twenty years of experience in counseling, education, advocacy, and policy change, Wendy’s primary focus is the maximization of PANS and related encephalopathies communities through collaboration, increasing knowledge, and the development of positive supports.