On June 3, U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald met with University of Southern California President C.L. Max Nikias and other university leaders who are working on veterans’ issues in the community, including Anthony Hassan, clinical professor and CIR director.

The meeting was an opportunity to discuss how the university is a leader in the local veteran sphere and offer ways to further partner with the VA in its mission to help local veterans.

USC has a long history of supporting the U.S. military — from its days as a training school during World War I to the formation of programs and centers aimed at helping veterans transition home. The USC School of Social Work launched a military social work program and the Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families. The Marshall School of Business created a Master of Business for Veterans degree. The USC Institute for Creative Technologies uses innovative virtual technologies to train officers and help reduce post-traumatic stress symptoms.

With more than 320,000 veterans, Los Angeles County is home to the largest population of veterans nationwide. A recent CIR study found that many of those veterans returning home are faced with challenges, including not knowing where to go for help. Partnerships between community organizations and the VA can help bridge the gaps identified.

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