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New Hampshire’s Vietnam Veterans Pave the Way for Today's Military
Transforming Access to Care for Service Members, Veterans & Families
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(603) 271-9290

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Publish Date:
March 30, 2016

Concord, NH – More than one third of New Hampshire’s 115,000 veterans served during the Vietnam era. To honor all who served during this war, the State of New Hampshire will host the 4th Annual "Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Ceremony" at 11 am on Saturday, April 2 at the Hanover (NH) High School Gymnasium.

Over the years, Vietnam Veterans have shared important "lessons learned" for our military-civilian state leadership around health care and other social service and support issues. In 2012, NH Veterans completed a survey to identify barriers in accessing care. Over a third of the respondents were Vietnam era veterans. One of the top barriers identified was "not feeling understood by the providers who serve them." These survey results inspired the creation of several statewide initiatives to address the needs of our military by improving access to and quality of care.

Ask the QuestionOne of the most powerful programs improving access to care is the "Ask the Question" Campaign initiated by the NH Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The Campaign encourages providers in multiple sectors to ask the question, "Have you or a family member ever served in the military?"

"The 'Ask the Question' Campaign is at the core of the State’s efforts to deliver the highest quality of care to our veterans, service members and their families," said DHHS Commissioner Jeffrey A. Meyers. "It is a simple question that can open the door of care for our military communities. Understanding the impact of asking this question, and knowing what to do when the answer is ‘Yes,’ is key to providers improving their care for service members, veterans, and their families."

No single provider or system can alone meet the needs of our military. The "Ask the Question" Campaign, managed by Easter Seals NH, is one of several DHHS military initiatives focused on creating a strong military-civilian network of service providers who identify and understand our military. The goal of these initiatives is to ensure that there is "No Wrong Door" for our military population seeking services.

These statewide initiatives are far-reaching. Dare Mighty Things has trained over 700 service providers in Military Culture in the last 8 months to improve quality of and access to care. This goal of these trainings is to increase greater understanding of this population and their unique needs. Community Mental Health Centers have created a "first in the nation" service model by embedding a military liaison within each of their ten agencies across the State. The National Alliance on Mental Illness – New Hampshire is implementing a collaborative and multifaceted military family initiative that is helping to educate and connect military families to services across the State.

As we continue to look back on the lessons learned from our Vietnam veterans, New Hampshire’s work on behalf of service members, veterans and their families is ongoing.

NH’s Vietnam veterans are engaged in many of these initiatives. A common theme heard from many Vietnam veterans is, "I want to pay it forward."

"Ask the Question" is an initiative of the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services in partnership with NH CarePath. To learn more, visit www.AskTheQuestionNH.com

 
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New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
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