New York State Health Foundation

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Veterans’ Health

Veterans’ Health

In 2008, while exploring the needs of New Yorkers coping with both mental health and substance use disorders at the same time, NYSHealth identified returning Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans and their families as a high-need population whose concerns were not being met. A 2011 needs assessment made clear that New York’s returning veterans and their families would benefit from greater support if they had access to a wider range of resources affecting their health and well-being—not only health care and mental health, but also education, employment, and housing services. Nearly half of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan would prefer to receive care and services in their communities, rather than through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system. Outreach to connect veterans and their families with existing services and better coordination among government and community agencies are essential for this generation of veterans, who are more likely to return to neighborhoods than to military bases.

To support returning veterans and their families, the Foundation seeks to:

  1. Advocate for increased philanthropic and government support for programs that meet veteran families' needs.
  2. Increase access to culturally competent community-based services and resources.

In the video below, NYSHealth President and CEO James R. Knickman and NYSHealth's former Senior Fellow for Veterans Affairs Colonel (Ret.) James McDonough, Jr., discuss NYSHealth's investment in returning veterans and their families.

Measuring Our Impact

The program indicators below help us to track the Foundation’s and our grantees’ progress in our work to meet the needs of returning veterans and their families.

View Program Impact
Program Impact: Veterans' Health
What we are doing How we measure progress Where we started Where we have been Where we are now What this

Increase comprehensive community-based services for veterans and their families.


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Increase the amount of federal funds to support the implementation of community-based programs for veterans and their families in New York State from $8.2 million to $38.2 million by the end of 2014.

2012: $8.2 million


2013: $34.2 million

We helped leverage $26 million in federal funds to support community-based programs for New York veterans and their families, well above our original goal. We updated our target to $38.2 million by the end of 2014.