For my inaugural blog post, I gave you an overview of our Military & Veterans Services, such as the Veteran Staffing Network. In honor of both the upcoming commemoration of Veterans Day, and the official opening of the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Easterseals, the latest addition to the array of services Easter Seals offers veterans, active duty National Guard and Reservists and their families of our region, this will be my first post to feature a guest blogger. And who better to tell you about the new Cohen Clinic than its director, Dr. Tracy Neal-Walden?
Dr. Neal-Walden is a licensed clinical psychologist and a retired Air Force Colonel with more than 25 years of experience in mental health treatment, leadership, outreach and policy. She holds a Ph.D in Clinical Psychology from Drexel University-Hahnemann Medical Campus in Philadelphia, PA., and we are so thrilled to have here as the leader of this wonderful new resource.
After a 24-year career dedicated to behavioral health services as an active duty member of the U.S. Air Force, it is an honor and a privilege for me to be the director of the new Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Easterseals.
The grand opening events made for a special day for all of us at Easter Seals and our partners at the Cohen Veterans Network (CVN) who have worked so hard to make our clinic a reality.
Ours is one of five new locations opening in 2017 as part of the CVN’s chain of behavioral health clinics. We provide low or no-cost, high-quality services and case management resource referrals for veterans, National Guard and Reserve servicemembers and their families, and the families of Active Duty servicemembers.
The network’s founder and namesake, Steven A. Cohen, became involved in veteran’s mental healthcare after his son returned from a tour in Afghanistan with the U.S. Marine Corps. In 2016, Mr. Cohen launched the CVN with a pledge of $275 million to support the creation of 25 clinics across the nation.
Our grand opening offered the opportunity to introduce military, government and business leaders to Easter Seals and to showcase our beautiful new facility that strengthens Easter Seals’ comprehensive support services for veterans and military families.
Thanks to the vision and generosity of Mr. Cohen and the CVN, I have had the opportunity to create a clinic that embodies all I’ve learned about behavioral health services over the course of my career. A clinic where we can overcome barriers to care, thus enhancing access for those who might not have been able to receive these services elsewhere.
Moreover, my team of high-caliber clinicians and support staff, many of which are veterans like myself, employ evidenced-based methods in a warm and welcoming environment.
As the latest addition to Easter Seals’ array of Military and Veteran Services, the Cohen Clinic is part of the larger safety net of support we offer, with the opportunity to leverage other Easter Seals programs, like the Veteran Staffing Network, to further enhance the quality of life for our clients.
We are also leveraging the extensive professional and personal networks of these programs and those of our clinicians, outreach and support staff to ensure that every veteran and military family member in the area who needs our services knows about the Cohen Clinic, and that we are here for them.
I’m so glad that we were able to be joined by other special guests, Dr. Anthony Hassan, CEO of the Cohen Veterans Network, Mrs. Ellyn Dunford, military family advocate and spouse of Gen. Joseph Dunford, 19th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Sgt. Kyle White, Medal of Honor recipient. They were able to convey to our guests the need ensure that our veterans and military families receive the support and services they need to strengthen our community.
It is an honor to be able to lead the Steven A Cohen Military Family Clinic at Easterseals and continue a career dedicated to the well-being of those who have served this country, and their families. I’m also honored that we are a part of an organization like Easter Seals, which offers a multitude of innovative services to our veterans and military families. We are making a difference in their lives, and strengthening the community.