Many efforts across the country are now under way from both governmental and private institutions to improve the quality of health care that veterans receive, and the timeliness with which they receive it. These initiatives are often varied, but one that seems poised for significant success is set in New Jersey and run by Rutgers University.
The school's Veterans Total Care Initiative is a pilot program supported by a $5 million grant from the New Jersey Department of Health, according to a report from Trenton radio station New Jersey 101.5. As part of a state-wide effort, the program's goal is to provide more and improve the quality of care for over 400,000 veterans living in New Jersey. Many of those veterans have encountered difficulties in promptly receiving traditional and mental health services.
"You have some individuals who have been waiting for appointments for quite some time with the VA," Terrell McCain, a program manager at the program's call center and an Iraq veteran who had to wait years to be treated for post-traumatic stress disorder, told the station. "The hope is that individuals who have served in the military and have done a service for their country, realize that there are resources out in the community available to them."
In addition, veterans will also be able to use the program to talk to people like peer counselors about what they're going through, and to help set up and expedite appointments, the report said. That could help veterans have more agency in the healing process.
Programs similar to Rutgers' initiative often help veterans in a wide variety of ways, not the least of which is that they simply get more care and attention when they need it than they otherwise might have.