by Adam Renteria and Ailin Dayani
A contingent from the University of Southern California, including Anthony Hassan, director of the Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families, held a series of meetings in Washington, D.C. earlier this month to discuss existing and planned USC activities in support of service members, veterans, and their families.
CIR’s mission is to strengthen the support network of veterans and military families through education and training, innovation, research and partnerships, and Hassan’s Feb. 3-7 trip helped cement that role.
He met with officials from Congress, including Rep. Steve Daines of Montana and staff for California Sen. Barbara Boxer. He also met with officials from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense, including within the Office of the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the U.S. Army surgeon general and U.S. Air Force assistant surgeon general.
Meeting with Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho, the U.S. Army surgeon general, and Brig. Gen. Charles Potter, the U.S. Air Force assistant surgeon general, provided a strong partnership with DoD health initiatives as well as education, training, and research ideas for CIR to embark upon. Horoho discussed brain health, prevention models of care, regenerative medicine, and talent management strategies for health care professionals. She was highly interested in CIR’s use of technology and the USC School of Social Work’s Virtual Academic Center, a web-based Master of Social Work program. Potter expressed interest in expanding the social work program to include a specialization in health management policy that could address areas such as logistics, IT, administration, etc.
Hassan’s advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C. strengthened relationships that could expand the USC Military Social Work program to service academy graduates and active duty military officers, as well as the 75 Army transition centers which house the Army Career and Alumni Program.
In his meeting with Daines, Hassan discussed the Los Angeles Veterans Collaborative and the Los Angeles Veterans Survey, a comprehensive needs assessment of the county’s military population, including spouses and partners. Montana is interested in replicating CIR’s efforts to reach out to their rural veterans and looks forward to the survey’s results.
“It was an incredible week of creating and fortifying valuable partnerships that will make USC not just the leader within the industry, but will also make USC one of the most military- and veteran-friendly schools in the nation,” Hassan said. “We look forward to the next step in strengthening the transition of veterans and their families into the community.”