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Dr. Draga Ilievski

Social Work

About Dr. Draga  Ilievski

Dr. Draga Ilievski is a devoted, detail-oriented licensed clinical social worker based in Valparaiso, Indiana. Her many skills include clinical social work, program planning, psychosocial oncology, client/patient assessment, counseling, therapy, psychosocial oncology, team collaboration, clinical intervention, research, analysis, training, and instructing.

Some of her accolades include membership in the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the Association of Oncology Social Workers, and Post Partum Support International. She has a thorough understanding of clinical social work processes and is well-known among patients and coworkers for going above and beyond to offer excellent patient care.

Draga got her bachelor’s degree in speech and hearing from Indiana University. She then pursued further study at Indiana University Northwest, earning a Master of Social Work degree. Draga became a licensed clinical social worker three years later, and soon after, Draga became a member of the National Association of Social Workers. Finally, Draga Ilievski received her doctorate in clinical social work from the Institute for Clinical Social Work in Chicago, Illinois.

Dr. Draga Ilievski’s Experience

Dr. Draga Ilievski started her career as a student intern at a local hospital. She gained clinical experience helping with admission evaluations and discharge planning. 

Her graduate internship was at the Youth and Family Services Bureau, where she gained experience writing psychosocial assessment reports and treatment plans. Additionally, Draga gained an appreciation for the value of empathy and compassion while assisting kids with their reintegration into the educational system. Draga Ilievski also started conducting individual, family, and group therapy sessions and immediately realized that she had discovered her true vocation.

Draga accepted a job as a social worker/team leader at LaPorte Hospital, where she continued to demonstrate her ability to collaborate and operate in a team setting. Draga offered case management and clinical services to both inpatients and outpatients while developing expertise in acute care, rehabilitation, critical care, skilled nursing, and labor and delivery units. Draga also performed psychological evaluations and planning for oncology outpatients and hospital inpatients throughout this period, always offering supportive counseling in the process.

Draga Ilievski is the kind of person who will constantly look for methods to enhance an existing system if she recognizes its potential. Therefore, it was no surprise that she worked to strengthen the coordination of cancer services in order to provide treatment continuity throughout the hospital system. 

Draga’s unflinching concern for her patients extends to her teammates as well. She provides in-depth education to various departments and agencies on abuse, neglect, and psychological problems. Draga also developed and led a community cancer support group. Additionally, she participated on the advisory board to help create adult day assistance programs and collaborated with the LaPorte County Domestic Violence Task Force. Draga also supported adoption procedures inside the hospital, organized interprofessional team care planning for patient care management, and created quality improvement initiatives for the American College of Surgeons’ credentials.

Draga is exceptionally gifted at conducting biopsychosocial evaluations and treatment plans for individual, family, and group counseling sessions, in addition to psychotherapy services for children and adults. Additionally, Draga collaborated diligently with local service providers, schools, and government organizations to ensure that patients received the most complete care available. While working as an oncology social worker at LaPorte Hospital, Draga Ilievski emphasized psychosocial support throughout the Oncology and Cardiology departments and developing and facilitating cancer support/treatment groups based on the Institute of Medicine findings. Draga also delivered training seminars on abuse, neglect, and domestic violence in her capacity as an educator.

Draga Ililevski established a private practice in 2007 to assist the families of adult/adolescent clients with mental health difficulties and offer individual and couple counseling. Additionally, she is well-known for generously working with other oncology doctors to assist cancer patients in her community with their psychological needs.

Draga is trained in psychodynamic techniques and has an in-depth assessment frame in her work as a psychotherapist. Moreover, as a Radically-Open Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (RO-DBT) specialist, Draga is capable of treating uncontrolled illnesses such as chronic depression, chronic anxiety, autistic spectrum disorders, anorexia, and personality disorders such as schizoaffective disorders, avoidant personality disorders, paranoid disorders, and obsessive-compulsive-disorders. She is further currently specializing in her work as a Daring Way Facilitator. The Daring Way is an empirically based program based on the research of Dr. Brene Brown. 

Draga is certified in perinatal mental health and supports women in all stages of their healthcare. Draga also spent nearly a decade at Indiana University Northwest as a visiting lecturer and adjunct faculty member. While teaching undergraduate and graduate classes about social work in healthcare, human behavior, and social environment, Draga pioneered an integrated educational approach and combined social work theory with practice.