Road Home Program in the News
Modie Lavin is named this week’s Difference Maker by WBBM NEWSRADIO. As an outreach coordinator at Road Home, Lavin attends and hosts events and educates the staff at other organizations. “It’s our mission to make sure that our communities are aware that it’s ok, to not be ok,” she said. With her outreach efforts, Lavin de-stigmatizes mental health issues and encourages veterans and their families to seek help. And that success has made Modie Lavin this week’s Difference Maker.
Jennifer Coleman, Road Home Program psychologist and opinion contributor to The Hill, writes about the high incidence of suicide within the veteran community in an article titled, We Should Do Something Different and Honor the Vets Who Served Us. “On this Veterans Day, instead of saying ‘thank you for your service’ which often feels like an empty platitude and annoys veterans: provide education, provide awareness and reduce stigma. We should talk about evidence-based care for mental health. Tell a veteran with PTSD about a new road home. A Road Home that is effective and leads to change in 21 days. Help us honor all veterans by bringing them all home from the mental war they may still be fighting.”
Mike Puccinelli of CBS news interviews Cheryl Dudley, an Air Force veteran and mother of three, who credits the three-week Intensive Outpatient Program at Road Home with saving her life. “A year ago, I didn’t want to live. I can look at my life now and say, you know, this is the happiest I’ve ever been in my life”. Adds Rebecca Van Horn, medical director of the Road Home Program, “PTSD is treatable. Give us a call”.
Dr. Michael Brennan, Clinical Director of the Intensive Outpatient Program, is interviewed by John Howard of WLS radio in advance of our annual benefit. “We treat veterans for PTSD, depression, substance use disorders, anxiety-related problems, adjustment and transitional stress as well as sleep-related issues. We also help female veterans who unfortunately are suffering from military sexual trauma…There are over 300,000 veterans in the Chicagoland area. There are no direct costs to the vets. Wounded Warrior Project has been one of our major sources of funding. We also have amazing support from the McCormick Foundation, the Chicago Bears, the Crown Family and Boeing as well as many others in the Chicagoland community. We thank them for the support.
Rebecca Van Horn, Medical Director at the Road Home Program is interviewed by Sally Schulz, weekend anchor of Good Day Chicago on Fox 32. “We offer a variety of programs, (including) an Intensive Outpatient Program where we bring veterans from all over the country to Rush for three weeks to treat them for PTSD…amazing outcomes, really significant reduction in symptoms of PTSD, as well as reductions in symptoms of depression…We also have a week in our IOP where we offer a family member their own curriculum to learn about PTSD and better understand what their veteran is going through in terms of treatment.”
Thad Rydberg, Clinical Director at the Road Home Program, joins Chicago native and film director Shawn Convey to celebrate the worldwide release of Among Wolves with a weekend of screenings, special events and panel discussions. The film explores a motorcycle group in Bosnia who confront the trauma of their past and find redemption in acts of charity. They take strength from being together in what was once their frontline, but is now land they visit to protect and nourish a herd of wild horses and hold sacred as a place of healing.
Rebecca Van Horn, Medical Director at the Road Home Program, is featured in Rush’s Annual Report: 2018 Year in Review. “So many veterans struggle to return to their lives that existed before their service. We help them re-discover tranquility and purpose in their civilian lives with support from fellow veterans who best relate to their challenges.”
Making a Difference in Chicago. Will Beiersdorf and Thad Rydberg are interviewed by Susan Wiencek, host of Hubbard Helps. Thad: “to veterans who have difficulty reaching out for help, I would just say: we are a little bit different. We don’t see you as a number. We can treat veterans relatively quickly. They can get in to see a therapist usually within a week”. Will: “many times, it’s not the veterans we serve first, but their family members. And we have a very liberal definition of family, including parents, siblings, even friends”.
Nick Digilio welcomes Will Beiersdorf back to the program in advance of Veteran’s Day, November 11. Will provides a recap of the first four years of the Road Home Program, from the remarkable support the program received in its early days from the Welcome Home, Veterans organization at the McCormick Foundation to the significant grant provided this year by the Wounded Warriors Project.
Mark Schimmel, better known as “Chaps,” is interviewed in The Companion, the Religion and Health and Human Services (RHHV) fall newsletter. Mark provides a ministerial presence in both group and individual therapy sessions during the IOP and gives veterans the opportunity to unlock and express the horrific things that happened to them by starting with a simple, but revealing, question, “How is your soul?”
Rush receives $45 million dollars, its largest single donation ever, from the Wounded Warriors Project to help veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injuries, depression, anxiety and other related conditions. The new donation will enable the Road Home Program to treat an additional 5,000 veterans and family members over the next five years.
Blake Schroedter, PsyD discusses the value of video conversations in an interview with Healthcare Analytics News. “Video allows us to break down the barriers that would otherwise have limited veterans seeking our services.” Schroedter is director of the Effingham Clinic of the Road Home Program.
Modie Lavin is one of our family outreach coordinators and a Gold Star Mother. In honor of Memorial Day, Modie talks about her loss, her work and how she made her decision to work with veterans.
PTSD prevented Don Harvell and his family from making a healthy transition to civilian life. Therapy at the Intensive Outpatient Program that extended to include his service dog Sierra has allowed them all to move forward.
Judy Brown creates art as a coping mechanism to deal with an assault while on active duty. Her latest exhibit, “Dog Tags” is featured in this article in the News-Gazette. Brown is a recent graduate of the Intensive Outpatient Program at the Road Home Program.
“When others go low, academic medicine goes high.” Dr. Darrell Kirch, president of the American Association of Medical College (AAMC), spotlights the Road Home Program in a speech to leaders of the nation’s academic medical centers entitled “In Search of Community”.
In honor of Veterans Day, Nick Digilio welcomes Will Beiersdorf, Executive Director of the Road Home Program, for a wide-ranging interview that includes the growth and goals of the Road Home Program and the culture of compassion and listening that has enabled the Road Home Program’s team to help fellow veterans and family members cope with and overcome the invisible wounds of war.
Filling gaps in veteran’s care. Nicknamed ‘PTSD boot camp,’ the intensive outpatient program delivers 100 hours of innovative, intensive therapy over three weeks.
Simulating the sounds and sights of combat in Iran, virtual reality devices expose the veteran to trauma in a safe, controlled environment and can help retrain the brain to deal with triggers that lead to debilitating fear.
The intensive outpatient program at Rush offers a new option for veterans dealing with PTSD. The program provides veterans with intensive therapy, lasts 19 days and draws vets from around the country.
Focus on Family: Dr. Niranjan Karnik, MD, PhD, Medical Director of the Road Home Program discusses PTSD and the need to make the transition back easier with treatment, resources and support not just for the veteran, but for the children and family around the veteran.
Will Beiersdorf, Director of the Road Home Program, is named one of five Chicagoans of the Year by Chicago Magazine.
Dr. Mark Pollack, Granger Professor and Chairman, Department of Psychiatry at Rush University Medical Center, discusses the belated recognition of PTSD and the effects on Vietnam veterans in part two, Untold Stories: Saluting Our Vietnam Veterans.
The fourth annual ‘Do Ask, Do Tell’ symposium looks at the health needs of LGBTQ veterans and focuses attention on efforts to create a welcoming and safe environment in the services available to them.
Wounded Warrior Project launches The Warrior Care Network, a first-of-its-kind national medical care partnership that includes Rush University Medical Center.
Dr. Mark Pollack, chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Terri Tanielian, senior research analyst at the RAND Corporation, discuss the role of private mental health providers including Welcome Back, Veterans (WBV) initiative, a collaborative of Major League Baseball and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.
The launch of the Road Home Program is detailed in Progress Notes, the newsletter of the Department of Psychiatry Rush University Medical Center
For members of the media:
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John M. Pontarelli
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