Contact Claudia Bustamante at 213-821-3654 or cbustama@usc.edu

WHAT:

The University of Southern California School of Social Work Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families (USC CIR), in partnership with Loyola University Chicago’s School of Social Work, will release the results of the Chicagoland Veterans Study, the first comprehensive needs assessment in the area. Beginning in summer 2015, USC CIR polled about 1,300 veterans in Cook, DuPage, Will and Lake counties regarding their most pressing needs and challenges, especially as they transition from active duty back to their homes and communities. The study assessed veterans’ needs in a number of critical areas, including housing, employment, financial stability, and health care. The Chicago study marks the first time the USC study has been conducted outside of Southern California. The results from the initial 2014 study have guided veteran programs and policies in Los Angeles County, home to the largest number of veterans nationwide.

WHEN:

Tuesday, April 19, 2016
1:30 PM CDT/11:30 AM PDT

WHERE:

Loyola University Chicago
Water Tower Camus
Regents Hall, Lewis Towers
111 E. Pearson St., Chicago

WHO:

• Patrick M. Boyle, Interim Provost, Loyola University Chicago
• Sara Kintzle, Research Assistant Professor, USC School of Social Work
• Janice Matthews Rasheed, Professor, Loyola University Chicago School of Social Work

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Contact: Claudia Bustamante at 213-821-3654 or cbustama@usc.edu

WHAT:

The Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families at the USC School of Social Work will host a colloquium with retired Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire. Dallaire, who commanded the United Nations forces during the Rwandan genocide, will discuss his personal story and the impact post-traumatic stress has beyond the individual. Q & A to follow.

WHO:

In 1993, Dallaire was appointed Force Commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR), and witnessed the country’s descent into genocide that claimed more than 800,000 Rwandans. Since his retirement, Dallaire has become an advocate for genocide prevention, human rights and mental health issues. He currently serves as a Canadian senator from the province of Quebec.

WHEN:

Wednesday, Jan. 22, 11 a.m. – Noon

WHERE:

USC University Park Campus
Davidson Conference Center, Club Room
3415 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90089

ABOUT:

The USC Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families aims to strengthen the transition of veterans and their families into the community through education and training, research and partnerships. The center is focused on rapidly increasing the number of clinical social workers and behavioral health providers trained to treat the challenges troops, veterans and their families face, as well as mental health research that can be directly and quickly translated into clinical practice.

The USC School of Social Work is the first research university to offer a large-scale military social work program that prepares students to care for service members, veterans and their families, helping them cope with the stresses of military life.

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Contact: Claudia Bustamante
cbustama@usc.edu
213-821-3654

For Immediate Release

USC military social work center launches first county-wide veterans survey

Gen. David Petraeus urges local military community to help shape veteran policy

LOS ANGELES (Oct. 24, 2013) — The University of Southern California School of Social Work has launched the most comprehensive survey to date to gauge the diverse needs of Los Angeles County’s military community, including families and service providers.

The Los Angeles Veterans Survey (www.lavetsurvey.org), developed by the Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families at the USC School of Social Work, will poll 3,000 active service members and veterans; 1,000 spouses and partners; and 500 service providers to help identify the opportunities for program development, public policy and community collaboration.

“People would always ask me about the needs of our veterans in Los Angeles,” said Anthony Hassan, center director. “The problem is I don’t know. No one does. I could speculate based on national data, but the best way to identify opportunities for service programs is by putting boots on the ground and asking them.”

Working in conjunction with the Los Angeles Veterans Collaborative, a group representing more than 200 service providers and organizations, the center will use the data to help build effective community networks and promising preventive strategies.

Veterans are returning with a range of transitional challenges, including post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury and homelessness. But, the vast majority are merely navigating through daily life challenges—employment, housing, health care, education, relationships, etc.—and do not always reach out for help.

The survey is an opportunity to reach out to the more than 320,000 veterans in Los Angeles County and gather data that will point new policies toward the most strategic impact areas so that the majority of those returning veterans and military families do not turn into extreme cases.

“The Los Angeles Veterans Survey is a hugely important, path-breaking initiative that will contribute significantly to the identification of unmet needs and challenges facing our veterans—and also the opportunities that exist for them as well,” said Gen. David Petraeus, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and USC professor affiliated with the center.

The center has partnered with 211 LA County, the California Department of Veterans Affairs and Goodwill, among others, to recruit targeted populations that have eluded similar studies in the past, like women and homeless veterans.

Survey respondents are eligible for a range of incentives. Also, individuals taking the survey, along with their spouse/partner and up to four children, will receive free entry on Veterans Day (Nov. 11) into the Natural History Museum, located at 900 Exposition Blvd. The survey runs until the end of the year.

The survey will delve into multiple areas, including housing, employment and mental health. Not only will it inquire about employment status, but also whether employed veterans consider the civilian job commensurate with their skillset. It will also ask about the specific barriers to access to care, ranging from a lack of awareness to transportation obstacles. And it will ask about the level of satisfaction with help provided for those service members and family members who have sought counseling or other mental health therapy.

The Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families (cir.usc.edu), housed within the USC School of Social Work, promotes the health and well-being of service members, veterans and military families through research, education and outreach that encourages successful transitions to civilian life. Among our priorities are rapidly increasing the number of behavioral health providers trained to treat the challenges veterans and their families face, as well as mental health research that can be translated into clinical practice.

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Contact: Eddie North-Hager at (213) 740-9335 or edwardnh@usc.edu

In an invitation only event, you have been invited to discuss with USC experts the challenges military veterans face as they attempt to reintegrate into civilian life after two of the longest wars in American history.

WHAT: In-depth discussions with leading researchers and professors and hands-on demonstrations of the latest technology used to train students and help veterans.

  • Meet Mike Baker, a virtual soldier who is seeking counseling for the first time after deployment, part of the latest groundbreaking research used to train students to serve veterans.
  • Learn how researchers are working to make the transition from soldier to civilian smoother, using both technological advances and innovative teaching methods.
  • Hear how professors are serving the veteran’s emotional needs by studying their families, and how this unusual job affects both spouses and children.
  • Better understand the transition from soldier to student or job-seeker.

WHEN: 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 24.

10:30 a.m. – Military Culture – Training students to best serve veterans seeking care.

11 a.m. – Using virtual reality to connect and help with wounded warriors.

  • MILES – Now part of the USC School of Social Work curriculum, the Motivational Interviewing Learning Environment and Simulation is a virtual reality project that provides future therapists training in treating veterans through practice with a simulated patient..
  • Bravemind – An immersive virtual environment for use by trained therapists to help treat combat-related post-traumatic stress.
  • SimCoach – A website with an interactive virtual human healthcare coach that helps to break down barriers to care by allowing users to ask questions through an accessible, anonymous online platform.

Noon – Lunch.

1 p.m. – The Whole Veteran – Research into military families and children.

2 p.m. – Serving Those Who Served – Veteran as job seeker and as university student.

WHERE: City Center, AT&T building, 1149 South Hill Street Los Angeles, CA 90015.

RSVP for Parking: Call (213) 740-9335 .

WHY: As the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq draw to a close, millions of veterans are returning to civilian life. Society’s infrastructure is already struggling to meet the challenges as this unique population attempts to reintegrate.

There are 23 million veterans in the United States. With nearly 2 million calling California home, the state has the largest population of veterans in the country. There are 320,000 residing in Los Angeles County alone.

These recent wars lasted longer and resulted in more deployments. Because of medical and technological advances, more soldiers are surviving what would have once been fatal injuries, leaving them to cope with the trauma. During World War II, for every military personnel who was killed, two more were wounded. In Iraq and Afghanistan, for each veteran killed, eight are injured.

The issues extend beyond the service man and woman, to their spouses and children. California has more than 67,000 military dependents in its schools, behind only Virginia and Texas.

WHO:

Anthony Hassan, director, Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families; chair, USC School of Social Work military social work program; and Major, U.S. Air Force (Retired). Hassan previously served as director of the Master’s Degree Program in Counseling and Leadership at the United States Air Force Academy. Hassan served during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004 on the first-ever Air Force combat stress control and prevention team embedded with an Army unit. Hassan also led the largest military substance abuse and family advocacy programs in the Pacific.

Ron Avi Astor is the principal investigator of Building Capacity and the Thor Professor in Urban Social Development at the USC School of Social Work and USC Rossier School of Education. His collaboration with researchers and policy makers in Israel contributed to a large-scale monitoring system that gives each school both social and academic feedback as the foundation for interventions. He is also a nationally known expert in school violence prevention and caring school communities.

Skip Rizzo leads the Medical Virtual Reality Lab at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies. He is also a research professor at the USC Davis School of Gerontology and USC Keck School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences. Rizzo’s work using virtual reality-based exposure therapy to treat PTSD received the American Psychological Association’s 2010 Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Treatment of Trauma. Other projects use virtual reality to address traumatic brain injury, depression, autism and clinical skills training.

USC Military-Related Programs

Military Social Work: USC was among the first universities to begin preparing students to understand and serve the unique needs of the returning veteran. In 2009, the USC School of Social Work created the nation’s first large-scale military social work program to increase the number of social workers specifically trained to meet the needs of veterans and their families. The program has graduated nearly 500 who are trained to care for service members, veterans and their families and to help them cope with the stresses of military life and transitions into civilian life.

USC Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families: The center is dedicated to saving and improving the lives of veterans and their families by strengthening their transition into the community. It drives cutting-edge research that can be directly and quickly translated into clinical practice, informs policymakers, builds community network capacity, and aims to rapidly increase the number of clinical social workers and behavioral health providers trained to treat the challenges troops, veterans and their families face.

Building Capacity in Military-Connected Schools: The initiative is a consortium of eight military-connected districts, the Department of Defense Education Activity and USC. Military-connected students confront numerous challenges. While many of these students are resilient, others experience adverse mental health, social and academic outcomes. The partner school districts enroll 117,000 students, with more than 10 percent who have a family member in the military. The project identifies and provides support for military-connected students by creating evidence-based programs and assisting the districts with implementation, including 72,000 contact hours from a cadre of Master of Social Work interns and their mentors.

The USC School of Social Work: The school ranks among the nation’s top social work graduate programs and maintains the oldest social work master’s and Ph.D. programs in the West. The school is the first research university to offer a large-scale military social work program that prepares students to care for service members, veterans and their families, helping them cope with the stresses of military life.

USC Institute for Creative Technologies: At ICT, leaders in artificial intelligence, graphics, virtual reality and narrative advance low-cost immersive techniques and technologies to solve problems facing service members, students and society. Established in 1999, ICT is a DoD-sponsored University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) working in collaboration with the U.S Army Research Laboratory. ICT brings film and game industry artists together with computer and social scientists to study and develop immersive media for military training, health therapies, education and more.

About USC: USC has a long history of support for veterans and the military. The university became a training school for Army officers during World War I and expanded its role during World War II, serving as a naval preparatory flight cadet school and hosting Army, Marine Corps and Navy training programs. USC is one of only two universities, along with Notre Dame, to have maintained an unbroken, decades-long relationship with ROTC. The ROTC program at USC was founded in 1943 and currently numbers 130 future officers in four branches – Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy. Graduates of the program join their military branch as officers. USC enrolls approximately 800 veterans per semester, supporting their educational endeavors through the USC Veterans Association, the USC Veterans Certifying Office, Transfer and Veterans Student Programs and other initiatives.

Contact: Claudia Bustamante at 213-821-3654 or cbustama@usc.edu.

WHAT: The Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families at the USC School of Social Work will host a colloquium with Medal of Honor recipient Staff Sgt. Ty Michael Carter. Carter, who received the nation’s highest award Monday for his heroic actions while deployed in Operation Enduring Freedom, will discuss post-traumatic stress disorder and ending the stigma that prevents service members from getting treatment. Q & A to follow.

WHO: Carter was deployed in 2009 to Nuristan Province, Afghanistan. On Oct. 3, 2009, while under attack by more than 300 Afghan insurgents for 13 hours, Carter distinguished himself by resupplying ammunition, providing first aid, rescuing a wounded soldier and killing enemy troops, according to the official account. Eight American soldiers died, and more than 25 were injured.

WHEN: Tuesday, Sept. 3, 11 a.m. – Noon

WHERE: USC University Park Campus, Davidson Conference Center, Vineyard Room, 3415 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90089

ABOUT: The USC Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families aims to strengthen the transition of veterans and their families into the community through education and training, research and partnerships. The center is focused on rapidly increasing the number of clinical social workers and behavioral health providers trained to treat the challenges troops, veterans and their families face, as well as mental health research that can be directly and quickly translated into clinical practice.

The USC School of Social Work is the first research university to offer a large-scale military social work program that prepares students to care for service members, veterans and their families, helping them cope with the stresses of military life.

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