Continuing its commitment to improving the lives of our nation’s veterans, The Home Depot® Foundation has donated $1.5 million to help NYU Langone Medical Center launch the first mental health consortium of its kind in New York City dedicated to improving the diagnosis and treatment of post-traumatic stress (PTS) and traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Specifically, the funding will allow the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Veterans Center at NYU Langone to spearhead the establishment of the Greater New York City Military Family Clinic Consortium Coordinating Center, with the principal mission being to create an integrated mental healthcare network of academic medical centers that provide mental health services to veterans and their families. In addition to NYU Langone and its Cohen Veterans Center, the consortium will include Columbia University Medical Center and Weill Cornell Medical College, all of which have affiliations with the U.S. Veterans Administration.
The Consortium Coordinating Center will oversee the integration of treatment services, care standardization and staff training for a network of clinics—sponsored by the member institutions of the consortium—that treat veterans with PTS and TBI. The Coordinating Center also will evaluate clinical outcomes and coordinate concomitant research initiatives.
“The neurological and mental health needs of returning veterans are vast, with many experiencing multiple emotional problems resulting from PTS and TBI,” says Charles R. Marmar, MD, the Lucius N. Littauer Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at NYU Langone, director of its Cohen Veterans Center, and director of the newly established Greater New York City Military Family Clinic Consortium Coordinating Center. “Nearly one-third of the 15,000 veterans who live in the New York City area are plagued by these and other mental health challenges, which also affects their families.”
“Collaboration with researchers and clinicians at other academic medical centers is critical to accelerating efforts to identify objective biological mechanisms that underlie neuropsychiatric conditions like PTS and TBI,” added Dr. Marmar. “Ultimately, through this effort we hope to have in place a coordinated mental health consortium that will provide veterans and their families with integrated, evidenced-based care. Generous support from organizations like The Home Depot Foundation and the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation—who put our veterans first—make all of this possible.”
In announcing the gift, Gaven Gregory, executive director of The Home Depot Foundation said, “This consortium, comprised of some of the greatest academic medical centers in New York, will extend the amazing work already underway. Once we get closer to identifying objective biomarkers that can advance the diagnosis and treatment of PTS and TBI, we will be able to develop better treatments tailored to the individual. Our veterans deserve all we can do to improve their lives after service to our country.”
Deborah (DJ) Haffeman