JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (January 26, 2016) – Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) and its partner academic health care providers have officially started accepting wounded service members for a first-of-its kind mental health program, Warrior Care Network™. Through Warrior Care Network, thousands of wounded veterans and their families across the country will gain access to increased quality care for two of the most commonly experienced wounds of the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan: post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Warrior Care Network represents a three-year, $100 million commitment made by WWP and its partner academic medical centers to expand the continuum of care for the nation’s wounded veterans.
The four founding academic health care partners of Warrior Care Network are: Emory’s Veterans Program at Emory University, Atlanta; the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program; Operation Mend Program at University of California, Los Angeles; and Road Home Program at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Warrior Care Network will expand regional outpatient programs and develop innovative two- to three-week intensive outpatient programs that will provide individualized care tailored to each wounded veteran.
“The impact of the continued struggle with post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury can be extremely disruptive on each warrior and their families,” said Jeremy Chwat, chief strategy officer at WWP. “We want every warrior we serve to get to a place where they are thriving instead of merely surviving. Warrior Care Network provides options for care that can help these warriors and their families find their ‘new normal.’”
According to the results of the 2015 WWP Annual Alumni Survey, mental health conditions were among the most frequently reported health problems, with 76.2 percent screening positive for PTSD, 68.8 percent screening positive for depression, 67.4 percent screening positive for anxiety, and more than 42.5 percent experiencing TBI. The survey showed that, while many wounded veterans have significant health care needs, they too often have difficulty getting the help they need. While the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is committed to trying to meet this demand, WWP recognizes the VA cannot heal the invisible wounds of war alone. WWP intends to work collaboratively with the VA to expand the mental health care options available to wounded veterans.
“Warrior Care Network will ensure that wounded veterans in need of mental health care will have access to state-of-the-art, patient-centered treatment, regardless of their geographic location or financial limitations,” said Chwat. “The collaboration between WWP and our Warrior Care Network partners will grow to develop and share best practices that allow us to deliver the highest-quality evidence-based care to wounded veterans and families at world-class medical facilities across the country, to ensure the wounded veterans who are most at risk don’t fall through the cracks.”
Each Warrior Care Network academic medical center has committed to providing comprehensive care geared toward veterans, sharing best practices, coordinating care among sites, and developing and delivering upon measurable health care outcomes. WWP and the individual Network sites will recruit and educate wounded veterans about the resources available through Warrior Care Network, evaluate the effectiveness and scalability of the network, and share best practices in providing services to wounded veterans and family members across the country.
Warrior Care Network is now accepting program participants. Formal “Doors Open” events will be hosted by each academic medical center in the coming months. For more information on Warrior Care Network and how veterans can enroll, please visit warriorcarenetwork.org.
About Wounded Warrior Project
The mission of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP’s purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.
About Warrior Care Network
Warrior Care Network TM is a groundbreaking collaboration between Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) and its academic medical center partners, Emory Healthcare, Massachusetts General Hospital, Rush University Medical Center, and UCLA Health, to create a nationwide, comprehensive care network that will enhance access and provide clinical and family-centered treatment to warriors suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and other related conditions. Warrior Care Network will offer specialized clinical services through either a regionalized outpatient program (OP) and / or an innovative intensive outpatient program (IOP). Through this cutting-edge initiative, WWP and its partners plan to serve thousands of wounded veterans and family members over the next three years.