New York State Health Foundation

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Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Inc

  • Project Title: Connecting New York State Veterans and Their Families to High-Quality Community Services: Phase 2
  • Priority Area: Veterans' Health
  • Grant Amount: $140,000
  • Date Awarded: May 8, 2015
  • Region: Statewide
  • Region: New York City
  • Website:
  • Grant Status: Complete


In response to ongoing challenges facing veterans, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) launched its Rapid Response Referral Program (RRRP) for returning veterans and their families. Initially, the program linked veterans to case managers and veteran-specific resources across New York City, providing broader access to benefits in a community setting. Services range from helping veterans and family members deal with depression and stress to getting them connected to health care, mental health, legal, housing, and employment services. In 2013, NYSHealth awarded IAVA a grant to double its capacity by expanding RRRP across New York State. In 2015, NYSHealth awarded IAVA a second grant to further expand the program.

Under this grant, IAVA extended the reach of the program and developed a sustainable plan to continue RRRP in the future. Specifically, IAVA broadened its outreach in locations where demand for mental health services is high, partnering with institutions of higher education, Supportive Services for Veteran Families sites in New York City and on Long Island, and Fort Drum, NY. IAVA developed a comprehensive business plan and identify funding sources to scale the program beyond this grant. IAVA aims to have a long-term plan in place to scale RRRP to serve at least 10% of the 88,000 veterans living in New York State who served in either Iraq or Afghanistan. IAVA used the outcomes of RRRP to leverage its role as a credible advocate among policymakers to inform and promote policies in New York State that focus on the needs of returning veterans.

Veterans Find Help and Hope Through Supportive Services
For Andy*, a New York combat veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, chronic back pain was becoming so severe that he was frequently calling out sick from his job. Depression also was compounding his problems, causing him to withdraw from friends and family and lose motivation in his work. After seeking help from a program that connects veterans to a variety of supports and services, Andy was able to take the first steps in reclaiming his life. Learn more.