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NYSHealth Hosts a Discussion on Community-Based Services for Veterans and Their Families

May 8, 2012

On Tuesday, May 8th, 2012, the New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth) hosted a discussion centered on a new NYSHealth publication developed by the Rochester Veterans Outreach Center, "Coming Home to Caring Communities: A Blueprint for Serving Veterans & Families." In addition to expanding upon NYSHealth's efforts to highlight effective community-based initiatives serving veterans and their families, this convening focused on the potential for New York State to invest in promising replicable models of community-based services for veterans and their families. 

The discussion included representatives from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans' organizations, community-based providers of veterans' services, colleges and universities, and philanthropy, and featured presentations from Nancy Berglass, Non-Resident Senior Fellow, Center for a New American Security (CNAS); Dr. Margaret C. Harrell, Senior Fellow and Director of the Military, Veterans and Society Program, CNAS; and John Kuhn, National Director, Homeless Evaluation & Acting National Director, Supportive Services for Veteran Families.

More than 2.4 million service members have deployed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since October 2001, and an estimated 100,000 veterans from these conflicts have returned to New York State. An NYSHealth-supported study, “A Needs Assessment of New York State Veterans,” conducted by the RAND Corporation confirmed the significant mental health needs of these veterans—nearly 25% have a probable diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and/or major depression. Further, nearly half of New York’s returning veterans indicated a preference for receiving health care and services outside the VA system. The Blueprint was developed as a response to this finding and aims to provide communities with insight into addressing the needs of their returning veterans and family members. Giving New York State’s returning veterans and their families’ timely access to high-quality care requires collaboration between the public and private sectors, and expanded community-based resources to address gaps in services.

Watch a brief video featuring a discussion between NYSHealth President and CEO James R. Knickman and Colonel (Ret.) James McDonough, Jr., NYSHealth Senior Fellow for Veterans Affairs, on the future of NYSHealth's investment in returning veterans and their families.

Below are two Center for a New American Security reports on providing services to returning veterans:

Investing in the Best: How to Support the Nonprofits that Serve Veterans, Service Members and Their Families

Well After Service: Veteran Reintegration and American Communities