A Health Care Model for Veterans and Their Families

The VA and a not-for-profit hospital system create a behavioral health center on New York's Long Island

Dates of Project: July 2011 through June 2015

Description: A veteran’s behavioral health problems can have a dramatic effect on spouses and children, but the vet and his or her family can’t usually receive coordinated services.

But what is believed to be the first time that the VA and a private hospital system have worked together to offer treatment under one roof to both veterans and their family members is happening on New York’s Long Island.

The Unified Behavioral Health Center for Military Veterans and Their Families is a collaboration between the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System and the Northport Veterans Administration Medical Center.

Under one roof, North Shore-LIJ provides behavioral health services to families affected by the military service of a member while Northport operates an outpatient clinic for veterans.

The co-located behavioral health services, provided by clinicians with expertise in trauma-focused psychological care, address unmet family needs and improve care coordination.

Key Results

  • In the first 18 months after the health center opened its doors in December 2012:

    • The North Shore –LJI Feinberg Division of the health center treated 145 patients, who made more than 2,100 visits. The Bay Shore VA outpatient clinic treated 640 patients who made 3,225 visits. Forty-two individuals received services from both divisions.
    • Most patients ranked their care as “good” or “very good” and said their condition had improved as a result.
    • The health center earned widespread media coverage, including a three-minute segment on CNN. U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., called it a “healthcare model for Veteran families.”

“This innovative public-private partnership is making a difference in hundreds of lives while creating a more accessible and comprehensive healthcare model for Veteran families,” wrote U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.

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Brain trauma can devastate vets, but VA offers little help to families. New health center is changing that.