Kean University Student-Veteran Receives K-9 Service Dog

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K-9 Keen and Jason Pryor stand outside in a group photos with student body members

Jason Pryor of Elizabeth received the K-9, named Keen, as a gift from the Kean Office of Student Government.

A special Veterans Day ceremony was held on Kean University’s Union campus as senior Jason Pryor, a U.S. Army veteran, introduced the K-9 service dog that he received through an on-campus fundraiser.

Pryor, a senior from Elizabeth majoring in exercise science, did tours in Iraq and Honduras and suffers from PTSD. He received the K-9, named Keen, at the start of the Fall semester as a gift from the Kean Office of Student Government.

“Being with Keen has taught me to be more patient,” said Pryor, whose dog accompanies him to class. “Keen is used as a measure to help prevent me from going through the symptoms and effects of spiraling down, by me tending to his needs and having him tend to me.”

Kean is ranked first in the nation among large public schools for its programs supporting student-veterans, according to the Military Friendly Schools survey.

Student Government raised nearly $20,000 to support service dogs through Rebuilding Warriors, a volunteer non-profit organization whose mission is to provide trained service dogs to veterans. The bulk of the funds raised went toward training Pryor’s dog, and the rest was donated to Rebuilding Warriors to help train other K-9 dogs.

At the ceremony held outside Miron Student Center, Vito Zajda, director of Veteran Student Services at Kean and a U.S. Coast Guard veteran, called Pryor a remarkable student.

“He has been a big support and influential person in our program,” Zajda said. “He has helped open our eyes about how the University can best support its vets.”

Vice President of Rebuilding Warriors Jeff Mullins, also a veteran, said post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that can’t be seen by others. ”It’s invisible, stays with you your entire life, and it’s not easy sometimes,” he said. “Our goal is to provide veterans and first responders with a service dog to help them achieve their new normal.”

The University’s Veterans Day event included a color guard, a performance of the national anthem by the Kean Gospel Choir, and the presentation of other honors.

Juan Leon Torres, a senior from Spotswood also studying exercise science and a U.S. Navy veteran, received the 2019 Kean Veteran’s Award for OutstandingK-9 Keen service dog to U.S. Army Veteran pictured sitting next to his new owner Mentor. He develops transition opportunities and initiatives, and mentors a student-veteran each semester.

“Being a veteran and going back to school is super hard because you go from one community to a different lifestyle,” Torres said.

Zajda noted that it is important to support veterans at all times. “The importance of Veterans Day is to recognize that it’s 365 days a year, as veterans go through different highs and lows in their lives,” he said.

K-9 Keen, the service dog accompanying student-veteran Jason Pryor (pictured at top, left of center, in red shirt), is part of the Kean University community. The Kean Office of Student Government raised funds to donate the dog.

About Kean University

Founded in 1855, Kean University is one of the largest metropolitan institutions of higher education in the region, with a richly diverse student, faculty and staff population. Kean continues to play a key role in the training of teachers and is a hub of educational, technological and cultural enrichment serving more than 16,000 students. The University’s six undergraduate colleges offer more than 50 undergraduate degrees over a full range of academic subjects. The Nathan Weiss Graduate College offers six doctoral degree programs and more than 80 options for graduate study leading to master’s degrees, professional diplomas or certifications. With campuses in Union, Toms River, Jefferson and Manahawkin, New Jersey, and Wenzhou, China, Kean University furthers its mission by providing an affordable and accessible world-class education. Visit kean.edu.

Global Edition Telehealth Veterans Affairs, Walmart open latest telehealth pilot site

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Walmart store front pictured

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and retail giant Walmart have opened the latest location as part of a joint effort help Vets in rural areas get better access to medical services, the first location for a new telehealth pilot program.

WHY IT MATTERS
The store, located in Asheboro, North Carolina, is part of a public-private affiliation whereby Walmart donated equipment and space allowing Veterans to meet with a VA provider in a private room through video technology.

It’s all part of the VA’s Accessing Telehealth through Local Area Stations, or ATLAS, services initiative, which will provide clinical services – which the VA notes will vary by location – including primary care, nutrition, mental health and social work.

Other telehealth pilot sites are located in Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa, and the VA noted there were more than 1.3 million video telehealth encounters with more than 490,000 Veterans last year.

In addition to Walmart, ATLAS sites are currently located at American Legion posts and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Posts, allowing Vets to connect through the VA Video Connect platform.

It’s part of the VA’s Accessing Telehealth through Local Area Stations, or ATLAS, initiative, which will provide clinical services including primary care, mental health and social work.

The app also works on a wide range of device that have an Internet connection and a web camera, including Windows-based PCs and laptops, Windows mobile devices, iOS mobile devices and Android mobile devices.

The VA has also been working with companies like T-Mobile and Philips to pave the way for additional telehealth services for Vets.

THE LARGER TREND
Despite the department’s advances in telehealth services, Veterans Health Administration medical facilities are facing an enormous challenge as they scan and enter medical documentation into patients’ electronic health records.

According to an audit from the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Veterans Affairs, VHA medical facilities have a cumulative medical document backlog equivalent to more than five miles of stacked paper, with nearly 600,000 electronic files dating back to 2016.

Continue on to Healthcare IT News to read the complete article.

Maximize Your Education Benefits

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Black female army soldier with backpack and books

Don’t waste one of the greatest benefits of military service: a college education. Use these tips to get started and to make the most of the educational benefits you earned.

Ask How, What, Where

You’re now out of the military and want to attend school on the GI Bill. Where do you go? Ask yourself three questions when deciding on a school: 

How will you attend school: on campus or online? Evaluate your employment schedule, family circumstances and a commute. You might have to relocate to be close to a university campus. Some traditional universities have begun offering online degrees, and many for-profit institutions specialize in online education. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of taking classes online , and pick a method of learning that best suits your lifestyle.

What do you want to study? This question should help narrow down where you want to get an education. Schools offer different kinds of programs, degrees and certificates, and not all are equal. Some value programs over others or have particularly strong departments. Identify what you want to study early so you can save credits by not changing degree plans in the future.  

Where do you want to be when you graduate? In the competitive job market, where you went to school may help or hinder your chances at employment. A degree from a private school in one state might be prestigious in its borders but overlooked elsewhere. Choosing a nationally recognized school can help when employers evaluate your educational background.

  1. The GI Bill as an Investment

The GI Bill does not last forever. You are granted 36 academic months to finish your degree plan—whether it’s to get a certificate, undergraduate, or graduate degree. The bill comes to you on behalf of taxpayers, but it’s not free and should not be wasted. Many people change majors in the course of their life, but it’s a risk when it comes to the GI Bill. There is not much room to adjust and take different classes once your basics are out of the way. Weigh your different degree options and make your decision before taking major-centric courses. Doing so will minimize the risk of exhausting benefits and paying out of pocket for the rest of your classes.

Be prepared to research the quality of education offered by the school you want to attend. While Veterans usually don’t need federal student loans while using the GI Bill, default rates of individual schools can help indicate the ability to secure a job that pays high enough to pay down loans. The Department of Education’s National Center of Education Statistics utilizes a school search directory to evaluate schools on these grounds. Look up schools you’re interested in and find out how graduates fare after they walk the stage.

  1. Anticipate the Unpredictable Job Landscape

Another reason to take post-military education seriously is the unforgiving job market. Veterans leaving the service after deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan—those most able to take advantage of education benefits—face a disproportional amount of unemployment compared to civilians. Veterans face a civilian workforce that doesn’t understand their skills and worries about the burden of traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress. And according to a VA-sponsored study, Vets often earn less than their civilian counterparts, even with degrees in hand. The takeaway is this: Veterans already enter the workforce at a disadvantage, so make your education bullet point on your résumé stand out just as much as your military experience.

  1. Trust, but Verify

Schools will always welcome your dollars, whether you pay them through loans, scholarships or GI Bill tuition. Unfortunately, some schools use aggressive and questionable practices to enroll students and deliberately exaggerate the earning potential of degrees earned. Resources like Payscale can help determine earning power right out of school and break down how much you stand to make depending on the type of college you attend: public, private, and for-profit. If an enrollment adviser says you will make big money after graduating, think back to the used car lots that litter the roads outside of military bases. They might be selling the equivalent of a car with 200,000 miles for a low interest rate of 18 percent.

  1. Beware of Questionable Research Aids

Go to Google and search for “GI Bill schools.” The first link you get isn’t a page run by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The first result is GIBill.com, and it uses the name of the most recognized public education program in existence to its financial benefit. It appears to be a legitimate site for information, but a cursory search of its privacy policy shows it is owned by an online marketing firm that, according to a major business publication, specializes in directing students to for-profit schools through its page. It’s a questionable marketing strategy that seeks to legitimize a page that serves little purpose other than to funnel student Veterans and convince them their options for education are limited to their advertisers. There are 6,500 schools across the country that allow GI Bill benefits; only use VA’s school locator to find qualifying programs. Avoid suspicious websites drowning in advertisements.

  1. Reintegration is Key

The challenges of schoolwork paled in comparison to the difficulties of finding footing in an unfamiliar civilian world—it can take only a few classes to start to realize you can be a changed person after service. As painful as it was, the reintegration process can expose you to different people and ideas that can put you on a path to feeling normal again. For many Veterans, education after the military acts as a first exposure to college and the first challenge of reintegration. Therefore, the campus becomes training wheels for the professional world and allows you time to comfortably adjust to the slower pace of civilian life. If you’re undecided between a physical campus and an online school, consider the benefits of surrounding yourself with other students before you enroll.

Do What’s Best for You

The quality of education a Veteran receives with his or her benefits is a serious matter that can’t be taken lightly, and it is with these tips that we hope Veterans can fully maximize their hard-earned benefits. The GI Bill is a return on an investment that was measured in sweat and blood, often drained on foreign soil. Make it count.

Source: va.gov

Gillette SkinGuard For Military: Protecting the Skin of Those Who Protect Us

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Gillette SkinGuard_RazorPack

Following the Navy’s recent policy changes in regards to its shaving guidelines, Gillette has a solution for those of your readers who have experienced chronic skin conditions like PFB as a result of mandatory shaving while in the service.

As a part of Gillette’s commitment to helping every man be the best they can be, we are making more than 40,000 complimentary SkinGuard razor samples available to active and retired service members who want to try this razor that was specifically designed to protect their skin from irritation– and feel the difference for themselves.

Servicemen can visit Gillette.com/military if they’re interested in a product sample.

The Gillette SkinGuard Razor is clinically proven for sensitive skin and specifically designed to reduce the symptoms generally associated with PFB such as razor bumps and irritation.

Results from a recent clinical study revealed that the incidence of men’s razor bumps were reduced on average by 60 percent after 12-weeks daily shaving with Gillette SkinGuard.

What You Need To Know About VA Dental Benefits

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veteran in uniform smiling

By Dr. Greg Grillo (dentably.com)

Dental care for veterans can be confusing and difficult to navigate. As a dentist for over 20 years, and a veteran myself, I’ve talked with dozens of veterans who didn’t understand or know what types of benefits they deserve. To aid with that, I’ve put together this article which will hopefully help veterans understand and utilize the benefits they have earned.

What Type Of Care Can I Expect

The care you receive largely depends on which class you qualify for, but generally looks to treat and deal with serious issues. Certain classes might only receive care related to other qualifying health issues, while some classes can receive any dental care needed. That’s why it’s important to understand which class you fall into as each one varies in which types of procedures are covered.

Dental Care Classes

Probably the thing that trips up the most veterans the is the wide range of classes that make one eligible for dental benefits. Each of these has their own specific requirements, so read over them carefully to see which class you might fit into.

I: If you have a service related dental condition or disability then you are eligible for any dental care that is needed.

II: You can receive one time care if you:

-Did not receive a dental examination upon discharge

-Were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable

-Apply to receive care with 180 days of discharge

IIA: If you have a non-compensable, service related condition that is the result of combat wounds you are eligible for all care to keep your mouth healthy.

IIB: If you are a homeless veteran receiving care under VHA directive 2007-039 then you are eligible for select care procedures to treat major infections, relieve pain, secure employment, or treat severe gum disease.

IIC: If you were a former prisoner of war you are eligible for any dental care needed.

III: If a VA dental care provider determines you have a dental issue linked to a service related health condition, and that health condition makes the dental issue worse, you can receive treatment for the issue.

IV: If you have a service related injury that is rated as 100% disabling you are eligible for any care needed. Note this doesn’t include situations where the 100% rating is only temporary.

V: If you are part of a VA vocational rehabilitation program under 38 U.S.C. Chapter 31 then you can receive dental care that makes participating in and successfully meeting the goals of the program possible.

VI: If you are receiving VA care for an issue that is being made worse by an oral issue you can receive treatment for that oral issue.

This is a pretty big list, and it’s okay to be a bit confused on where you fit in. When in doubt, you can always contact your local VA, and they’ll be happy to guide you through the process and see what care you might be eligible for.

Other Dental Care Options

Unfortunately, not all veterans will be eligible for care under these rules. While that can be disheartening to hear, there are many other options that can help make dental care easier to receive and more affordable to non-VA care eligible veterans.

One of the more popular options is the National VA Dental Insurance Program. This is insurance specially offered to veterans, and it’s offered at a reduced price as compared to traditional insurances. This can help cut down both your monthly premiums as well as co-pays, which can make dental care much more affordable.

sign that says veteran benefitsThere are also a number of dentists that offer reduced or sometimes even free services to veterans. This depends on where you live, but it’s not a bad idea to do a little research for veteran friendly dentists in your area. You can also reach out to your local VA as they may be able to point you in the right direction.

While dental benefits can be difficult to navigate as a veteran, it’s very important to keep up with your oral health. I’ve mentioned your local VA a few times, and that’s because they are a great resource for determining your eligibility and utilizing your benefits. Keep them in mind as you look over your benefits, and never be afraid to reach out with any questions.

Operation 11/11 Gives Veterans Concierge- Level Health Care at No Cost on Veterans Day

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App for Medical advice pictured on phone

Medici, a virtual health care company, recently announced the launch of Operation 11/11, a new initiative providing virtual consults across multiple specialties to all U.S. veterans on Veterans Day, November 11.

During Operation 11/11, all veterans who register at Medici will have access to text, voice or video consultations with doctors specializing in general practice, psychiatry, dermatology, orthopedics and more. With this access, veterans can receive expert advice, diagnosis, prescriptions or referrals to other specialists. Proof of military service is required, although health insurance is not needed.

“Veterans Day is not about furniture and car sales. It is about recognizing the extraordinary service of our veterans,” says Clint Phillips, founder and CEO of Medici. “We can think of no better way to thank our veterans than to provide them with concierge-level care across multiple specialties without leaving their homes.”

Access to care will be provided using Medici’s simple-to-use virtual care app, which connects users directly with doctors. Veterans can pre-register now at https://www.medici.md/veterans for zero cost across multiple specialties on Veterans Day from 8 am to 8 pm for each U.S. time zone.

Military heroes support Operation 11/11

In addition to announcing Operation 11/11, Medici is welcoming four military heroes as advisors of the new initiative, including:

  • Marcus Luttrell, former Navy SEAL who received the Navy Red Cross and Purple Heart for his actions in June 2005 against Taliban fighters during Operation Red Wings;
  • Mark Geist, United States Marine and member of the Annex Security team that fought the Battle of Benghazi;
  • Rob O’Neill, member of Seal Team Six who is believed to be the man who fired the shot which killed Osama Bin Laden and
  • Omar Avila, a former military member who was hit by an IED in Iraq and had two-thirds of his body burned and remains one of the world’s strongest athletes.

“Having these military heroes come alongside us and tell us that the work we are doing is life-changing is all the validation we needed to dedicate all our resources to this initiative,” said Phillips. “Operation 11/11 allows us and hundreds of remarkable doctors the opportunity to give back to those who deserve it most.”

Medici has also partnered with 2nd.MD, which provides access to the world’s leading specialists across 130 subspecialties at the top U.S. hospitals. A limited number of veterans with complex cases will be able to have virtual second opinions thanks to 2nd.MD.

About Medici

Medici is working to change how health care is delivered by recreating the doctor-patient relationship. With the secure messaging app, physicians and patients can connect via text, call or video from anywhere and on their schedule. This enables patients to chat with their doctor, vet or therapist at any time, and clinicians to extend care and get paid without extra overhead or burdensome schedules. With over 20,000 doctors across all platforms, Medici is leading the way in the future of health care. For more information, visit http://www.medici.md.

Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes Third Annual Marriage Retreat

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combat wounded veteran pictured with family outdoors

The Heroes Freedom Weekend is a 3-4 day relaxing marriage enrichment retreat for combat wounded veteran couples.

The primary goal is strengthening the bonds of marriage for Veteran couples who have so much additional stress in their lives due to physical and mental wounds from war.

Along with the couples who attend, we see so much value in the efficacy of our program, helping to avoid situations that include divorce, custody battles, depression and often suicide or attempted suicide. A strong marriage acts as a pillar of support in the life of a wounded veteran, to allow him/her to survive, recover and rebuild.

A recent study showed that suicide rates in the military were highest among people divorced or separated — with a rate of 19 per 100,000 — 24% higher than troops who are single. It also showed that relationship problems are a common occurrence preceding suicide. showing that 39.5 percent of suicide attempt cases had experienced a failed relationship within 90 days of the suicide event. Primarily these involved romantic partners, but also included close friends and family.

Combat wounded veterans sit with spouses in a meeting room to discuss marital issues

The HFW19 implements the Warriors to Soulmate Program which:

Warrior to Soul Mate (W2SM) is a program that:

  • Aids in helping Warriors reconnect with their spouse.
    • Works to help spouses understand the emotional toll military service can take.
      • Improves communication techniques to reduce conflict in a healthy manner.
      • Helps to restore the bond between soul mates.
      • Teaches couples how to reclaim the love they once shared.
      • Provides a plan for how to renew a life together.

Due to the success of our previous marriage retreats and other programs, we are stretched thin with our number of wounded veterans applying for help. With support from donors and sponsors, we’re working to bring in 12+ Wounded veteran couples to help strengthen and enrich their marriages.

combat wounded veteran sitting outdoors with familyThe retreat will take place from Nov 1-4 (Fri – Mon) in Colonial Williamsburg Virginia. For more information, please click here.

This event would also give us a great opportunity to update the face of the invisibly wounded veteran family, which make up 90% of the 200 applications we’re now getting each month.

For more information regarding supporting this events, we are still in need of sponsorship, gift-in-kind donations and volunteers. Please contact ddaughenbaugh@saluteheroes.org to learn more.

Gary Sinise To Host Hope For The Warriors 10th Annual Got Heart Give Hope Gala

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Hope for warriors logo

Award-winning actor/humanitarian Gary Sinise will host Hope For The Warriors 10th Annual Got Heart Give Hope Gala Thursday, Oct. 17 at Union Station in Washington, DC.

Sinise’s portrayal of Lt. Dan Taylor in “Forrest Gump” formed a connection with servicemen and women throughout the military community. After several USO handshake tours in 2003, Sinise formed the “Lt. Dan Band” in early 2004 and began entertaining troops serving at home and abroad.

In 2011, Sinise established the Gary Sinise Foundation with a mission to serve and honor our nation’s defenders, veterans, first responders, their families and those in need by creating and supporting unique programs that entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen and build communities. Of its many outreach efforts, the Gary Sinise Foundation is building custom Smart Homes for severely wounded veterans, serving hearty meals to deploying troops and hosting spirit-boosting festivals for patients, families and medical staff at military hospitals.

Hope For The Warriors has partnered with the Gary Sinise Foundation to help its R.I.S.E. program provide adaptive homes to combat-wounded veterans. Hope For The Warriors’ Make a House a Home program offers grants to enhance the homes by incorporating hobbies, in-home businesses and other life passions that personalize the space for the individual/family.

Gary Sinise professional headshot
Gary Sinise will host Annual Got Heart Give Hope Gala

Joining Sinise as co-host is retired U.S. Marine Col. Barney Barnum Jr. Barnum served 27 years in the United States Marine Corps and was the fourth Marine to receive the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War.

Beginning at 6 p.m., the annual event honors members of our nation’s armed forces and their families with the Vigiano Family Hope & Courage Awards. In addition, Hope For The Warriors will introduce six new awards highlighting individuals, corporations and organizations who have stood beside the organization in serving military families.

This year’s gala honors the memory of John Vigiano (1938-2018). A longtime Hope For The Warriors volunteer and supporter, Vigiano and his family have lived a life of service. Vigiano, a former Marine, retired as decorated FDNY fire captain. Despite his record of service, Vigiano was most proud of his family and the paths his two sons chose: John Jr., a FDNY firefighter, and Joe, a NYPD detective, both losing their lives in the 9/11 attacks.

“As we embark on the 10th Annual Got Heart Give Hope Gala, we’re honored to have Gary Sinise and Col. Barnum host such a memorable night honoring John Vigiano,” said Robin Kelleher, Hope For The Warriors co-founder and president. “Each year we honor service members and military family members who have demonstrated both hope and courage in the face of extraordinary circumstances. Being that John Vigiano and Gary Sinise have the same passion and profound respect for those who serve, we couldn’t have a more perfect host to help us honor John’s legacy while celebrating the night’s honorees.”

For more information on attending, sponsoring or donating to the 10th Annual Got Heart Give Hope Gala, visit hopeforthewarriors.org.

About Hope For The Warriors: 

Founded in 2006, Hope For The Warriors is a national nonprofit dedicated to restoring a sense of self, family and hope for post 9/11 veterans, service members and military families. Since its inception, Hope For The Warriors has served over 23,200 through a variety of support programs focused on clinical health and wellness, sports and recreation and transition. One of the nonprofit’s first programs, Military Spouse and Caregiver Scholarships, has awarded over 135 scholarships to caregivers and families of the fallen. In addition, Run For The Warriors has captured the hearts of over 25,500 since 2010. For more information, visit hopeforthewarriors.org, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Roche Partners with iHeartMedia to Present ‘iHeartCountry One Night For Our Military’ Concert to Bring Further Awareness of The Impact Diabetes Has On The Nation’s Veteran Population

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Event poster for the Roche veterans diabetes awareness concert

The Second Annual Concert Will Feature Performances from Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini and the evening’s host Scotty McCreery.

Event Will Broadcast Nationwide On Veteran’s Day From The Country Music Hall of Fame, Honoring The One In Four Veterans Living With Diabetes In The U.S.

Roche recently announced that it has again partnered with iHeartMedia, the number one audio company in the United States, to present the iHeartCountry One Night For Our Military concert on Thursday, November 7,[1] at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. In recognition of National Diabetes Month, and the one in four U.S. veterans living with the chronic condition, the exclusive event will include performances by Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini and the evening’s host Scotty McCreery.

The iconic venue will be filled with American heroes from across the nation, and the performance will broadcast across iHeartRadio’s Country stations nationwide and livestream exclusively on LiveXLive.com at 7 p.m. local time on Veterans Day, Monday, November 11.

 “With diabetes on the rise and affecting nearly 25 percent of the VA’s patient population,[2] this sponsorship fits our mission of helping people with diabetes live more active and unrestricted lives,” said Matt Logan, Vice President of Marketing, Roche Diabetes Care.As a proud Military Friendly® Employer,[3] the iHeartCountry One Night For Our Military partnership allows us to celebrate our servicemen and women while simultaneously raising much-needed awareness about diabetes among the military population.”

In support of this event, Roche is proud to partner with the American Red Cross to donate comfort kits to our military abroad.  Deployed troops will receive much-needed items, including healthy snacks, sunscreen, insect repellent, and other toiletries. “Our nation’s military needs the comforts of home while they are so valiantly protecting our freedom,” said Jeff Imel, Manager of Service to the Armed Forces and International Services for the Indiana Region of the American Red Cross. “We are grateful that Roche has recognized this need and is providing hundreds of comfort kits to our brave military members.”

“iHeartMedia has long been committed to honoring the men and women who have served our country by using our diverse platforms to address the most pressing issues facing our military. Over the years we have invested heavily in their transition from the military back into civilian life,” said Rod Phillips, EVP Programming for iHeartCountry. “iHeartCountry One Night For Our Military Concert is a natural extension of our deep commitment to our military and an opportunity to celebrate our service members while bringing attention to the high prevalence of diabetes among the military population.”

To learn more, visit accu-chek.com.

About the Indiana Region of the American Red Cross:
The Indiana Region serves 87 counties statewide through its six chapter areas: Central, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest, and Greater Indianapolis (Regional Headquarters). For more information on the Indiana Region: redcross.org/indiana. Follow the Indiana Region on Twitter at: @INRedCross, on Instagram at: @indianaredcross or www.facebook.com/INRedCross.

About American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

About iHeartMedia

iHeartMedia is the number one audio company in the United States, reaching nine out of 10 Americans every month – and with its quarter of a billion monthly listeners, has a greater reach than any other media company in the U.S. The company’s leadership position in audio extends across multiple platforms including more than 850 live broadcast stations; streaming music, radio and on demand via its iHeartRadio digital service available across more than 250 platforms and 2,000 devices including smart speakers, digital auto dashes, tablets, wearables, smartphones, virtual assistants, TVs and gaming consoles; through its influencers; social; branded iconic live music events; and podcasts as the #1 commercial podcast publisher globally. iHeartMedia also leads the audio industry in analytics and attribution technology for its marketing partners, using data from its massive consumer base. iHeartMedia is a division of iHeartMedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: IHRT). Visit iHeartMedia.com for more company information.

About Roche Diabetes Care

Roche Diabetes Care is pioneering innovative diabetes technologies and services for more than 40 years. Being a global leader in integrated diabetes management, more than 5,000 employees in over 100 markets worldwide work every day to support people with diabetes and those at risk to achieve more time in their target range and experience true relief from the daily therapy routines. Roche Diabetes Care collaborates with caregivers, healthcare providers and payers to optimally manage this complex condition and contribute to sustainable care structures. Under the brand Accu-Chek and in collaboration with partners, Roche Diabetes Care creates value by providing integrated solutions to monitor glucose levels, deliver insulin and track as well as contextualize relevant data points for a successful therapy. By establishing a leading open ecosystem, connecting devices, digital solutions, Roche Diabetes Care will enable optimal personalised diabetes management and thus improve therapy outcomes. Since 2017, mySugr with its world-leading mobile diabetes management app and services is part of Roche Diabetes Care. For more information, please visit www.accu-chek.com and mysugr.com.

About Roche
Roche is a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics focused on advancing science to improve people’s lives. The combined strengths of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics under one roof have made Roche the leader in personalised healthcare – a strategy that aims to fit the right treatment to each patient in the best way possible. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and diseases of the central nervous system. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management.  Founded in 1896, Roche continues to search for better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases and make a sustainable contribution to society. The company also aims to improve patient access to medical innovations by working with all relevant stakeholders. More than thirty medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organization Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and cancer medicines. Moreover, for the tenth consecutive year, Roche has been recognised as the most sustainable company in the Pharmaceuticals Industry by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI). The Roche Group, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, is active in over 100 countries and in 2018 employed about 94,000 people worldwide. In 2018, Roche invested CHF 11 billion in R&D and posted sales of CHF 56.8 billion. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information, please visit roche.com.

New Program Helps Veterans Heal

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Suicide Prevention

Volunteers of America (VOA), a national non-profit organization focused on helping veterans, homeless people, and those with mental and behavioral disabilities, is spearheading a new national initiative aimed at addressing a debilitating mental health disorder called Moral Injury.

Moral Injury can result from exposure to unprecedented traumatic life events linked to perpetrating, failing to prevent, or witnessing actions that transgress deeply held moral beliefs and expectations. This exposure can cause silent, devastating suffering that has shown to lead to depression, burnout, self-criticism, destructive coping strategies, and even suicide. While PTSD is a clinically diagnosed condition, Moral Injury is not.

VOA has developed a program that is showing promise in healing veterans and others who suffer from Moral Injury. Resilience Strength Training (RST), a new pilot program operating in New York, California, and Florida, is helping dozens of veterans overcome suffering from Moral Injury.

“At VOA we call moral injury, the war inside,” said Dr. Rita Brock, Senior Vice President, Moral Injury and Director of the Shay Moral Injury Center. “It’s the war inside because the conscience attacks an experience that wrecks an individual’s moral foundation in an attempt make sense out of it, but the experience is so devastating that making sense is impossible… this can lead to severe internal suffering and pain.”  

Through VOA’s Shay Moral Injury Center, the RST initiative teaches people how to address, alleviate, cope with and manage their suffering. Preliminary data shows the program is working. New York participants have demonstrated a reduction in stress and trauma and report an increase in self-worth and optimism. While this pilot program treated mostly veterans, VOA believes RST will help anyone suffering from Moral Injury.

Since 1994, Veterans Affairs clinicians have sought to understand suffering that is not captured in current methods of diagnosis and treatment for PTSD. In 2009, they suggested that the biggest factor in veterans’ inability to reintegrate into civilian life is Moral Injury, which is a profound affliction of moral conscience and is often times life threatening.

About Volunteers of America

Volunteers of America is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping those in need live healthy, safe and productive lives. Since 1896, VOA services have supported and empowered America’s most vulnerable groups, including veterans, seniors, people with disabilities, at-risk youth, men and women returning from prison, homeless individuals and families, those recovering from addictions and many others. Through hundreds of human service programs, including housing and health care, Volunteers of America helps 1.5 million people in over 400 communities. VOA integrates compassion with highly effective programs and services, which touches the mind, body, heart and ultimately the spirit of those served. For more information about Volunteers of America, visit VolunteersofAmerica.org

Michael Anthony Offers Healing Haven for Veterans with PTSD

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Michael Anthony headshot

By Mackenna Cummings

Michael Anthony is proving that you don’t have to be a veteran to help veterans, particularly those with PTSD. Offering his EcoPod retreat center to those needing a place to heal and reconnect with nature is his way of making a difference in the military community.

Early in life, Anthony realized he had a passion for creating. He loved woodworking and began building a boat to fulfill his dream of sailing throughout the Caribbean. His first boat unfortunately burned in a fire, but he was able to procure another boat and still live out his dream.

It was during Anthony’s time alone in nature where he found a spiritual peace that changed his life forever. He wanted to share his life changing experience with others, so after selling his boat he purchased 34 acres in northwest Indiana. It was on that land that he began building his tiny EcoPod homes to enable weary people to regain their spiritual connection with life. Anthony knew that most people were unable to sail out at sea for years on a boat as he did, so he created a place in hopes that people could experience a similar spiritual peace.

Thirty five years later, he was approached by a man named Dr. Connor, who runs a veterans clinic in Sarasota, Florida. He expressed interest in buying 95 of Anthony’s EcoPod homes for veterans suffering from PTSD. It was through Dr. Connor that Anthony learned about how even after rehabilitation programs, veterans still need support—which they often do not receive.

Anthony was so inspired by Dr. Connor’s work that he decided to make a contribution to veterans with PTSD by donating his remaining lots and retreat center in northwest Indiana. All he asks is for interested veterans to write him a letter expressing how they would benefit from living in a spiritual sanctuary close to nature. Letters can be sent to P.O. Box 232 Welaka, FL 32193.

Anthony’s retreat center has since been taken over by the American Honey Bee Protection Agency but more information can be found at info@ahbpa.org or tinyhouseestates.com.