Back in October, I had the opportunity to write about the Rush EN-Abled Veteran Program, a 6-month internship that prepares veterans and their families with the necessary tools to gain employment in the Chicagoland area. Since that time, some exciting things have happened.
On February 21, The Center will open and introduce the “Road Home” program, beginning with the dedication of the Rush Center for Veterans and their families. The Center will provide comprehensive treatment and support for veterans and the families, focusing on 4 areas:
- Clinical support: Confidential and guaranteed assessment and treatment grounded in the latest science, regardless of ability to pay.
- Counseling: Peer-to-peer service, advocacy and benefits navigation linking to social, educational, vocational and legal resources.
- Outreach Services: Support for spouses, children, parents and other loved ones with counseling and parenting guidance.
- Education: Training for primary care providers, including clinical consultations and PSAs and events to raise awareness among the general public.
This center is led by Mark Pollack, MD, a renowned expert in both post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety disorders. His areas of clinical and research interest include the acute and long-term pathophysiology and treatment of patients with panic and social anxiety disorders. Delivering the keynote will be Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL). An Army Black Hawk helicopter pilot, she was one of the first women to fly combat missions in Iraq. She lost both legs and part of the use of her right arm in an RPG attack and was awarded the Purple Heart for her combat injuries.
I’m also pleased to announce that since the last article, our first graduate from the EN-Abled Veteran Internship at Rush has been hired. We now have one member in our alumni program! The other three interns we have are still in the on-the-job shadowing phase and soon will move to resume review and mock job interviews. They will graduate in early April.
Rush has established an agreement with the James Lovell Federal Health Care Clinic VA hospitals in the Chicago area and we are using these resources to bring interns into our program. These relationships are particularly important as the Center will be collaborating with the VA on many clinical, social, and vocational opportunities.
HIMSS has established a Veteran’s Advisory Council of which I was pleased to accept chairmanship. The council is made up of a diverse group of industry leaders who have the passion for veterans and the experience to serve as advisors for HIMSS and beyond. HIMSS is working with a national initiative to engage all sectors of society to help our service members and their families.
If you are attending the HIMSS conference in Orlando next week, CHIME and HIMSS are co-sponsoring a session — Treating Veterans and Building their Healthcare IT Careers — during which Will Beiersdorf and I will present. The session, which will be held on Monday, Feb. 24 at 10 am, will focus on the following:
- Illustrate the needs of returning military veterans
- Describe an IT training program that help military veterans created a successful second career
- Explain the challenges military veterans and their families are facing upon termination of military service
- Analyze options for technology training
- Discuss how this program can be used at your institution
So if you plan to be in Orlando and would like to see how you can learn more about these programs or bring them to your medical center or hospital, stop on by!