Sup­port­ing Amer­ica’s Mil­i­tary

Modern Healthcare - - NEWS -

UHS prides it­self on serv­ing the mil­i­tary com­mu­nity. As a ma­jor provider un­der the TRICARE mil­i­tary in­sur­ance pro­gram, UHS has al­ways rec­og­nized the need to pro­vide be­hav­ioral health ser­vices to mem­bers of the mil­i­tary and their fam­ily mem­bers, said Car Evans, Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent for Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment in the Be­hav­ioral Health Di­vi­sion.

Un­der TRICARE, UHS has long pro­vided be­hav­ioral ser­vices to ac­tive duty ser­vice mem­bers and in­stal­la­tions across the US and over­seas. In 2010, as an evo­lu­tion of those ser­vices and in recog­ni­tion of the grow­ing need, UHS rec­og­nized the great need for ser­vices within the mil­i­tary and as a re­sult launched the Patriot Sup­port Pro­gram, a na­tional net­work of be­hav­ioral treat­ment cen­ters, sup­port staff and med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als ded­i­cated to cater­ing to the unique needs of ac­tive duty mem­bers, vet­er­ans and their fam­i­lies. The goal is to help all of th­ese in­di­vid­u­als cope with the emo­tional and psy­cho­log­i­cal ef­fects of com­bat, mul­ti­ple de­ploy­ments and sep­a­ra­tion from loved ones.

The pro­gram started as a col­lab­o­ra­tion with the na­tion’s mil­i­tary bases, as Patriot Sup­port Cen­ters were opened close to in­stal­la­tions. The need for be­hav­ioral health ser­vices in the mil­i­tary is “a con­stant,” Evans said.

“We see a sig­nif­i­cant, con­tin­ued need for those folks who have been in the­ater and have done tours and are back con­tin­u­ing to serve in var­i­ous ca­pac­i­ties,” he said. “We’re look­ing at a dif­fer­ent mil­i­tary than 10, 20 or 30 years ago. Some is­sues may have been re­al­ized in com­bat, but sol­diers are also pre­sent­ing with ex­ist­ing be­hav­ioral health is­sues that may not have been born to them in the mil­i­tary.”

The Be­hav­ioral Health Di­vi­sion sup­ports 160 mil­i­tary in­stal­la­tions and VA hos­pi­tals across the U.S. and over­seas. Th­ese are spe­cial­ized fa­cil­i­ties uniquely pre­pared to serve the mil­i­tary com­mu­nity – they’re not just civil­ian fa­cil­i­ties treat­ing mil­i­tary per­son­nel, Evans stressed.

Four­teen Patriot Sup­port Cen­ters of Ex­cel­lence op­er­ate units ded­i­cated solely for mil­i­tary per­son­nel, spe­cial­iz­ing in cri­sis sta­bi­liza­tion and the treat­ment of sub­stance ad­dic­tion, post-trau­matic stress and other con­di­tions. Clin­i­cians stay in close com­mu­ni­ca­tion with com­mand­ing of­fi­cers in hopes of help­ing ser­vice mem­bers hon­or­ably tran­si­tion to state­side duty or civil­ian life.

In 2016, the di­vi­sion served more than 4,700 ac­tive-duty ser­vice mem­bers, vet­er­ans and their fam­ily mem­bers. “It gives me a sense of pride,” Evans said. “I am not a vet­eran, but my fa­ther served as an of­fi­cer in the Navy, his fa­ther served and his fa­ther be­fore that.” Evans and one of his sib­lings were born in Ja­pan when his fa­ther was sta­tioned there dur­ing his ser­vice.

Pri­vate net­works seek­ing to pro­vide high-qual­ity ser­vices to the mil­i­tary and its vet­er­ans seek to em­ploy providers who un­der­stand the armed ser­vices. That’s why UHS has made it a pri­or­ity to hire vet­er­ans through­out the na­tion.

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