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veterans in a spin class

Celebrating Welcome Back Veterans: 2008-2016

From 2008 through 2016, the Welcome Back Veterans Initiative, a joint project of philanthropic groups and major academic medical centers, has provided an array of patient care, education and other services to veterans and their families.

A partnership between Major League Baseball and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, the Welcome Back Veterans Initiative awarded grants totaling $30 million to support returning service members, veterans and their families. During that period, the Initiative funded the creation of a national network of Centers of Excellence at academic medical centers to expand access and improve the quality of community-based mental health care for veterans and their families. Specifically, these sites offered evidence-based therapies for veterans and their families, family support, peer-to-peer-based programs connecting those in need to resources, and training for community based providers of care to be more culturally competent.

Over the course of the initiative eight sites were funded:

  • Weill-Cornell Dept. of Psychiatry
  • University of Michigan
  • Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Emory University Medical Center
  • University of California - Los Angeles
  • Duke University
  • Rush University Medical Center
  • New York University Langone Medical Center

More than 10,000 individuals have been served since the inception of Welcome Back Veterans. Additionally, these sites also provided training to close to 30,000 individuals to help better prepare additional organizations to serve military members and their families.

In 2016, RAND Corporation coordinated an intensive study, reporting on the work accomplished by the Welcome Back Veterans Initiative.

Welcome Back Veterans funding also supported a variety of programs focused on emergency assistance for veteran families, education, workforce development and employment. Examples include: Project Return to Work, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, and the National Veterans Business Development Corporation.

While funding for the initiative has ended, the success of the programs serves as a model for other organizations seeking to improve the lives of veterans and their families.

To learn more about current programs please use the links below: