STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Cohen Veterans Network (“CVN”) has formally launched operations to offer free, high-quality, comprehensive mental health care to our nation’s veterans and their families, CVN Founder Steven A. Cohen and Executive Director Dr. Anthony Hassan said today.
The nationwide network of clinics will focus on treating veterans, free of charge, who suffer from post-traumatic stress (PTS) and other mental health conditions. More than 2.6 million men and woman have served our country in the military during the past 14 years of war. Roughly 20 percent experience some form of PTS and traumatic brain injury (TBI) while 40 percent of returning veterans who suffer from mental health issues do not seek treatment.
“The wounds of war are serious. It is not easy to serve your country in combat overseas and then come back into society seamlessly, especially if you are suffering,” Mr. Cohen said. “These men and women have paid an incredible price and it’s important that this country pays back that debt.”
“We will treat anyone who served in the U.S. Armed Forces during the War on Terror. If you wore the uniform, and you need help, you are welcome at Cohen Veterans Network – period,” Mr. Cohen said.
To meet this significant need, the Cohen Veterans Network will open 20-25 clinics over the next three to five years, representing a $275 Million commitment from Mr. Cohen. The first four Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinics will be open by this July, located in New York, Dallas, San Antonio, and Los Angeles, with a fifth projected for Philadelphia. CVN plans to open five additional clinics in the spring of 2017.
The Cohen Veterans Network is the next phase of Cohen’s long-term commitment to help military families that began with Mr. Cohen’s work through the Robin Hood Foundation, chairing its Veterans Advisory Board, progressing through his support for the Military Family Clinic @ NYC in New York, through funding for Cohen Veterans Bioscience and culminating with his creation of Cohen Veterans Network. Mr. Cohen’s work with veterans began in part because of a personal connection – his son served in the United States Marine Corps and is currently serving in the Reserves.
In addition to support for CVN, Mr. Cohen has funded or plans to fund an additional $30 million or more through Cohen Veterans Bioscience in research programs over the next five years including its established partnerships with New York University and Columbia University, and new public-private partnerships it expects to foster.
“We are launching this network to provide veterans with a real choice as they transition home. We are offering free, confidential mental health care, with no wait times, not only to veterans but to their family members as well,” Hassan said. “We will make in-home visits, offer telehealth appointments, or pay for transportation to our clinics to break down existing barriers.”
Dr. Hassan is a veteran of the United States Army enlisted and Air Force officer with 30 years of experience in military behavioral health, serving as a military social work officer, leader, clinician, and academic. The Cohen Veterans Network Board of Directors is chaired by Admiral Michael Mullen, the 17th Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“We don’t teach young people coming into the military to reach out for help. The stigma around receiving mental health care is still there, and we have to create paths to resolving the issues. The CVN model does that at a time of great need,” Adm. Mullen said.
“People don’t hesitate to seek treatment for wounds they can see,” Mr. Cohen said, “but PTS and the other invisible wounds of war carry a stigma. We’re going to change that conversation and fight against the stigma that stands in the way of treatment.”
Veterans and their family members seeking care at any Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic will see their first appointment in less than a week. CVN will not share a veteran’s confidential information with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or other public, private, or government entities unless required by law.
CVN’s skilled clinicians and staff have been trained to work specifically with veterans and their families, and some are veterans themselves.
ABOUT THE COHEN VETERANS NETWORK LEADERSHIP
ADM. MICHAEL MULLEN, USN (RET.)
For four years, Admiral Mullen (Ret.) served as the principal military advisor to President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush. He oversaw the end of combat in Iraq and the development of a new military strategy for Afghanistan while promoting international partnerships, new technologies, and counter-terrorism tactics.
Mullen serves on the boards of General Motors, Sprint, and the Bloomberg Family Foundation and teaches at the Wilson School at Princeton University. He is known for his efforts on behalf of service members, veterans, and their families and for his role in allowing gay service members to serve openly.
A 1968 U.S. Naval Academy graduate, Mullen commanded three ships and served in various leadership positions within the Navy and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He was the 28th Chief of Naval Operations prior to assuming his duties as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
STEVEN A. COHEN
Steven A. Cohen is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Point72 Asset Management, L.P. He founded S.A.C. Capital Advisors, L.P. in 1992 and converted his investment operations to the Point72 Asset Management family office in 2014.
In 2015, he established Cohen Veterans Network and Cohen Veterans Bioscience after many years as a philanthropist with a particular interest in veterans mental health issues. Cohen’s support for veterans dates to his service on the Robin Hood Foundation’s (RHF) Board. RHF announced in 2011 that it was creating a program to aid the growing number of veterans, reservists, national guardsmen and their families living in poverty in New York City.
Cohen, already a member of the RHF Board of Directors, teamed with Admiral Mike Mullen to co-chair the RHF Hood Foundation’s Veterans Advisory Board.
Cohen is also the Co-Founder of the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation, which is committed to achieving lasting and meaningful change through commitments to children’s health, education, veterans, and the arts. The Foundation established the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Military Family Clinic at NYU Langone in 2013, which is being absorbed into the Cohen Veterans Network.
Cohen serves on the Board of Trustees at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles and the Emeritus Board of the Robin Hood Foundation. He received his BS in Economics from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
As the inaugural Executive Director of the Cohen Veterans Network, Dr. Hassan oversees the establishment of over 25 mental health clinics nationwide. These clinics are designed to improve the mental health outcomes for post-9/11 veterans and their families, with a particular emphasis on post-traumatic stress, through high-quality, free, and accessible mental health care. In addition, he leads efforts to advance the field through funded research initiatives and training programs to improve care within the network and beyond.
Hassan is a veteran of the United States Army enlisted and Air Force officer with 30 years of experience in military behavioral health, serving as a military social work officer, leader, clinician, and academic. He served during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004 on the first-ever Air Force combat stress control and prevention team embedded with the Army. He also led the largest military substance abuse and family advocacy programs in the Pacific. These programs were recognized as benchmark programs and training sites for all other Pacific bases.
He most recently served as the inaugural Director and Clinical Professor of the Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families (CIR) at the University of Southern California School of Social Work. During his tenure at CIR from 2009-2015, Hassan was instrumental in the exponential growth of the school’s military social work program and community-based research on veterans and military families. He has strong relationships with the most senior levels of leadership in the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and Washington, D.C.
ABOUT THE COHEN VETERANS NETWORK
The Cohen Veterans Network is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation whose mission is to improve the quality of life for post-9/11 veterans and their families by focusing on improving mental health outcomes. The goal of the Cohen Veterans Network is to build a network of free or low-cost outpatient mental health clinics for veterans and their families in high-need communities, in which trained clinicians deliver holistic evidence-based care to treat mental health conditions, especially post-traumatic stress. Learn more about the Cohen Veterans Network.