This collection brings together valuable insights from nonprofit organizations, foundations, and government agencies that work directly with veterans in communities across the country. The works collected here provide a deeper understanding of the problems many veterans and their families face and also potential solutions to address these very real challenges. The collection is broken into five key areas where veterans are facing obstacles and where nonprofits and foundations have been focusing their efforts.

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"Soldiers" by Adam Baker licensed under CC NC 2.0

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Health of Women Who have Served report 2017

November 2, 2017

America's Health Rankings® and America's Health Rankings® Health of Women Who Have Served Report are built upon the World Health Organization definition of health: "Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and socialwell-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." Our model reflects that determinants of health—Behaviors, Clinical Care, Policy, and Community and Environment—directly influence health outcomes.

New York Veterans’ Health Insurance Coverage under the Affordable Care Act and Implications of Repeal and Replace

October 18, 2017

A new NYSHealth data brief, based on a report by the RAND Corporation, examines the New York-specific impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—and potential effects of its repeal—on veterans' health care and insurance coverage.

Health of Those Who Have Served Report 2016, Executive Summary

November 1, 2016

United Health Foundation is committed to helping communities across the country understand the similarities and differences between the health of those who have served and those who have not served (hereafter referred to as "civilians" for the purposes of this document). America's Health Rankings Health of Those Who Have Served Report reflects United Health Foundation's commitment to offering data-driven insights that can stimulate dialogue and action that continues to advance the health of those who have served, and builds upon the United Health Foundation's philanthropic initiatives to support members of the U.S. Armed Forces, veterans, and their families across the country.America's Health Rankings, in partnership with Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), collaborated with an advisory steering group of leading military and veterans and public health organizations to develop a holistic study of the health of those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces compared with the health of civilians. The report establishes a baseline portrait of the health of those who have served, analyzing 24 health measures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)–the world's largest, annual population-based telephone survey of more than 400,000 people.

Health & Well-being

Underserved: How the VA Wrongfully Excludes Veterans with Bad Paper

March 30, 2016

Not all who have served are "veterans" in the eyes of the Department of Veterans Affairs. If the veteran has less than a General discharge, the VA creates obstacles to getting health care, benefits, homeless resources and other services. Most of these veterans are simply turned away. Congress never meant for eligibility to be so exclusive, it intended that only veterans who served dishonorably be denied access. The VA's own discretionary policies unnecessarily deny hundreds of thousands veterans benefits, who are often those most in need of the VA's support. These former service members are more likely to have mental health disabilities and twice as likely to commit suicide. They are more likely to be homeless and to be involved with the criminal justice system.

Needs Assessment: Veterans in the Dallas-Fort Worth Region

March 29, 2016

The King Foundation and a collaborative of funders commissioned the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) to assess the needs of veterans in the region to assist in planning future philanthropic investment by the Foundation and its partners. This report summarizes research conducted by CNAS researchers between August 2015 and February 2016, using a mixed-methods approach that included qualitative research on regional trends; quantitative research using data made public by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Department of Defense (DOD), and other agencies; a targeted survey of veterans in the region; and discussion groups with participants representing more than 50 organizations that serve those veterans.The following assessment attempts to answer the following research questions: What is the state of veterans in the DFW region? Where do needs exist among the DFW veteran population? How are the needs of veterans being met in the DFW region? What are the main efforts at meeting the needs of veterans? How does the coordination of existing services take place, and is there a collaborative structure in the region that guides investments, services, and the overall care?

Fixing Veterans Health Care: A Bipartisan Policy Taskforce

February 23, 2015

The Concerned Veterans for America convened the Fixing Veterans Health Care Taskforce with the mission of isolating existing challenges to veterans' health care, identifying systemic solutions, and proposing concrete reforms that would improve health care delivery for our nation's veterans. It is the hope of CVA that the recommendations made in this report will dramatically improve health care access, timeliness, and outcomes for eligible veterans

Health & Well-being

Michigan Veterans Community Action Teams: Report On The Survey Of Veterans Service Providers

September 10, 2014

The Michigan Veterans Community Action Teams (MIVCAT) project is a collaborative community model created by the Altarum to enhance the delivery of services from public, private, and nonprofit organizations to Veterans and their family members. The MIVCAT project was introduced in Michigan by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA) in August 2013, with pilots in two of Michigan's ten Prosperity Regions – Detroit Metro Region 10, comprising Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties; and West Michigan Region 4, consisting of Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola, and Ottawa counties.To better discern the needs of Veterans and the services available to them, Altarum gathered information through several channels. Altarum conducted a community assessment that included interviews with key regional leaders, focus groups with Veterans, a survey of Veterans, and a survey of service providers working with Veterans. This report summarizes the survey of service providers.This survey was conducted between February and April 2014 using a web-based survey instrument. In both regions combined, 189 service providers (116 in Detroit Metro and 73 in West Michigan) from 151 organizations (93 in Detroit Metro and 58 in West Michigan) responded to the survey. Following are the key findings.

Michigan Veterans Community Action Teams: Detroit Metro Veteran Focus Groups Report

September 10, 2014

The Michigan Veterans Community Action Teams (MIVCAT) project is a collaborative community model created by the Altarum to enhance the delivery of services from public, private, and nonprofit organizations to Veterans and their family members. The MIVCAT project was introduced in Michigan by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA) in August 2013, with pilots in two of Michigan's ten Prosperity Regions – Detroit Metro Region 10, comprising Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties; and West Michigan Region 4, consisting of Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola, and Ottawa counties.To discern the needs of Veterans and the services available to them, Altarum gathered information through several channels. Altarum conducted a community assessment that included interviews with key regional leaders, focus groups with Veterans, a survey of Veterans, and a survey of service providers. The focus groups with Veterans in Detroit Metro, reported here, collected information on: how Veterans find out about resources, services, and benefits; the best ways to reach Veterans; Veterans' experiences with seeking services; sources of support for Veterans; and recommendations for improving the Veteran service system.Altarum conducted six focus groups as part of a community assessment for the MIVCAT project in the Detroit Metro Prosperity Region. There were two focus groups of primarily Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) Veterans, two groups of primarily Vietnam-era Veterans, and two groups of women Veterans from multiple eras. Planning and recruiting for the focus groups was led by Altarum staff with support from regional coalition leaders. Four of the focus groups were held in Taylor, one in downtown Detroit, and one in Redford. Forty-two Veterans participated in the focus groups and all of these Veterans completed a survey that included questions about their background and characteristics.Following are the key findings from the focus groups. Note that italicized text are direct quotes taken from transcripts of the focus groups. The words in brackets help clarify the meaning of the quotation by substituting a person's position or organization for their name or adding information that was discerned from other parts of the interview or the tone used by the focus group participant.

Research Advances: January 2014

January 1, 2014

The VA has a comprehensive research agenda to help the newest generation of Veterans -- those returning from operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and New Dawn. In addition to exploring new treatments for traumatic brain injury and other complex blast-related injuries, VA researchers are examining ways to improve the delivery of health care services for these Veterans and promote their reintegration back into their families, communities, and workplaces.This publication reviews recent advances in research about Veterans' health and well-being.

Funding, Strategy, & Evaluation

2012-13 Report of the Department of Veterans Affairs Gulf War Veterans? Illnesses Task Force to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs

January 1, 2014

The Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force (GWVI-TF) was formed to ensure that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) maintains a focus on the unique health issues faced by Veterans of the 1990-1991 Gulf War (Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm). The Persian Gulf War is legally defined in title 38 United States Code (U.S.C.) § 101(33) as beginning on August 2, 1990, and ending on the date thereafter prescribed by Presidential proclamation or by law. Although the term "Gulf War Veterans" could refer to all Veterans of conflicts during this period, including Veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and subsequent conflicts, the GWVI-TF target population is Veterans who were deployed on the Operation Desert Shield and/or Operation Desert Storm components of the 1990-1991 Gulf War, hereafter referred to as Gulf War Veterans. In August 2009, the Secretary of VA directed a comprehensive review of VA's programs to support this population of Veterans with the goal of developing an overarching action plan to advance their services, and ultimately improving their satisfaction with the quality of services and support that VA provides. This is GWVI-TF's third annual report and is intended to document VA's roadmap for achieving these goals and the concrete actions that VA has taken to improve care and services to Gulf War Veterans. The work of GWVI-TF continues to be based on a premise that the efforts are part of the core VA mission "to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan."

Health & Well-being

Reintegration Partnership Project: Summary of Key Findings and Recommendations

December 1, 2013

There are approximately 2.6 million men and women who have served in the U.S. military during the post-9/11 period and their transitions home after deployment often create a rollercoaster of mixed experiences. About 40 percent of the fighting and support services deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan are members of the National Guard and Reserve Forces who often return to civilian communities that are ill-prepared to accommodate their reintegration needs. This brief describes the Reintegration Partnership Project, which explored the transition process for California National Guard members and their families after Reintegration Skills Training (RST), an evidence-based problem-solving practice aimed at easing the challenges associated with transition from combat to civilian life. It also reports findings of a follow-up assessment of the reintegration experience for California National Guard members.

Family & Community Reintegration; Funding, Strategy, & Evaluation

Expanding the Net: Building Mental Health Care Capacity for Veterans

November 11, 2013

In this brief, Senior Fellow Phillip Carter calls upon the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to expand its mental health care resources to meet the growing needs of veterans across the country. Although the VA will spend nearly $7 billion this year on mental health care for veterans, Mr. Carter argues that this is not likely to be enough. The report urges the VA to rely more on the private sector and work more closely with local community and private philanthropic organizations.

Health & Well-being