Better Governing Now » Governor McCrory And Duke University "Welcome Back Veterans" With New Initiative


Governor McCrory And Duke University "Welcome Back Veterans" With New Initiative

Press Release:

    Raleigh, N.C. — Governor Pat McCrory is welcoming back veterans with a new joint initiative between the administration's Division of Veterans Affairs and Duke University. The two-year partnership will focus on increasing mental health services for veterans, military families, and transitioning personnel within North Carolina and will include North Carolina's Department of Health and Human Services.

    "This joint initiative strengthens our long-term commitment to veterans by outfitting specialists with the tools they need," said Governor McCrory. "By partnering with Duke, the state gains an important ally in our mission to provide the best veterans services in the nation. Our continual goal is to keep North Carolina as the most veteran-friendly state in the nation."

    The partnership will provide the state's 50 veteran support specialists with high-quality training, specifically developed for veterans, aligning with Governor McCrory's mission to continue North Carolina's legacy as "the most veteran-friendly state in America."

    Future implementations will incorporate all 100 county Veteran Service Organizations, as well as a continued partnership with DHHS and National Veteran Service Organizations.

    EPIC, or the Evidence-based Practice Implementation Center, offers comprehensive guidance, training and support to organizations and systems to learn and sustain the most effective ways to serve the veterans who have served our country.

    "We are fortunate to work together so that veterans and their families receive the best services possible," said Robert Murphy, PhD, leader of EPIC's military family initiatives. "They deserve this, and we are committed to continually improving our work on their behalf."

    "We are always looking to improve the quality and level of assistance to our veterans," said NCDVA Director Ilario Pantano. "The collaboration between Duke EPIC and NCDVA will provide our teams with essential tools for working with veterans and responding to their needs in an effective way, growing North Carolina as a strong national leader in veteran's advocacy."

    NCDVA gains access to expertise through the Welcome Back Veterans Initiative as EPIC is one of seven centers of excellence nationally designated to improve awareness and access to mental health services while overcoming the stigma often associated with seeking mental health care. With this program, Duke EPIC continues its work with community-based partners and the Durham VA to provide training, research and mental health services to North Carolina veterans and their families.

    The partnership leverages NCDVA's extensive background in working with veterans across a broad spectrum of employment, health care, VA benefits, housing, education and personal services.

    The project will also build upon the current partnership with DHHS, in collaboration with the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Social Work to certify veteran peer support specialists. Joint training with DHHS reflects the Division's commitment to provide greater access to veteran related services and resources.

    "The Department of Health and Human Services is proud to support our veterans, active military service members and their families with needed services in this important initiative," said Aldona Z. Wos, Secretary of DHHS. "Our service members have been there for our country. It is our privilege to be there for them."

    Joint Partnership among Duke Epic, NCDVA and DHHS leads nationally in the development of "best practices" for veterans. This partnership unites university, community, and public services to bring the best care possible to veterans and their families.

  • Contact: Crystal Feldman

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