Bob Woodruff Foundation & the American Academy of Nursing Join Forces to Improve Veterans Health

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The American Academy of Nursing received a generous grant from the Bob Woodruff Foundation to take its veterans health initiative, Have You Ever Served in the Military?, nationwide.

The American Academy of Nursing is proud to receive a grant for its military veterans health initiative from the Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF).

BWF works to ensure injured veterans and their families thrive long after they return home. The team at BWJ seeks out, pulls together, and funds a nationwide network of top-tier programs and advocates working to help our heroes on the home front. The Academy is proud to join this network.

The Academy’s Have You Ever Served in the Military? is a new awareness initiative to fundamentally improve the way nurses conduct health assessments of individuals who have served in the uniformed military. The initiative is the Academy’s commitment to the First Lady’s Joining Forces campaign that calls attention to the unique health needs of service members, veterans, and their families.

Through this initiative, nurses and other healthcare providers are made aware of the importance of asking all patients if they or a family member have ever served in the military. If “yes” is the answer, the initiative’s materials ensure that providers have at their ready a series of pertinent questions to ask the veteran or family member. Asking this simple question, “Have you ever served in the military?,” will assist providers in obtaining more complete and accurate military service histories and identify possible environmental health exposures, health factors, or illnesses related to such service. Nurses, healthcare’s boots on the ground, are uniquely positioned to bring about this fundamental and necessary change.

With the challenges confronting VA hospitals, Congress looks to the private sector to ease the VA backlog. But, as Academy President Diana Mason, PhD, RN, FAAN, cautions, “less than half of all non-VA health providers ask patients if they are veterans. The Academy’s initiative seeks to close the knowledge gap between health providers and their patients.”

The Academy launched Have You Ever Served in the Military? in ten states; now with BWF’s generosity, it has taken the initiative nationwide. Over five thousand clinics, hospitals, mental health centers, and nurse leaders in all states have received this information essential to improve the health and recovery of veterans and their families.

Receiving the grant from BWF is an honor that recognizes the dedication, focus, and effectiveness of the Academy. Working together, the American Academy of Nursing and the Bob Woodruff Foundation will improve the health and quality of life of America’s returning heroes.

About the Bob Woodruff Foundation
You can learn more about the Bob Woodruff Foundation at We encourage you to follow @Stand4Heroes on Twitter or like BWJ’s page on Facebook at

About the American Academy of Nursing
The American Academy of Nursing ( serves the public and the nursing profession by advancing health policy and practice through the generation, synthesis, and dissemination of nursing knowledge. The Academy's more than 2,200 fellows are nursing's most accomplished leaders in education, management, practice, and research. They have been recognized for their extraordinary contributions to nursing and health care.

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Cheryl Sullivan
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