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Moving Forward in Veterans’ Health

In February 2012, Colonel (Ret.) James McDonough, Jr., U.S. Army, past Executive Director of the New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs and past Chief Executive Officer of the Veterans Outreach Center (VOC), joined the Foundation as its first Senior Fellow for Veterans Affairs. One of Col. McDonough’s early tasks has been to oversee efforts to replicate statewide the promising VOC model outlined in the NYSHealth-funded publication, “Coming Home to Caring Communities: A Blueprint for Serving Veterans & Families,” to help organizations build capacity and provide greater access to services. His efforts in 2012 to build support in New York State and nationally to meet the health care, mental health, and social service needs of veterans and their families included convening discussions on suicide prevention efforts in the military and effective community-based services for veterans and their families, as well as authoring a New York Times “At War” blog on making the transition from soldier to veteran.

Under Col. McDonough’s leadership, the Foundation awarded a grant to Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families as part of an initiative to support veteran-serving organizations and leverage Federal resources. The project offers free technical assistance to community-based organizations to help them prepare successful applications to receive Federal funding through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ $300 million Supportive Services for Veteran Families program.

In the video below, Col. McDonough and NYSHealth President and CEO James R. Knickman discuss NYSHealth's investment in returning veterans and their families.