The Institute for Veterans and Military Families and the Schultz Family Foundation Launch Veteran Support Network in Washington State

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“WAServes” is the eighth regional network in the country; it improves the quality of care and access to critical services for service members, veterans and their families.

Sheri Schultz, co-founder, Schultz Family Foundation, speaks at launch of WAServes network.

The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University and the Schultz Family Foundation today announced the launch of WAServes, a unique network of veteran service organizations that makes it easier for active duty service members, veterans and their family members to find services they need. At the heart of the WAServes network is a coordination center accessed via the web or by calling a toll-free phone number. The program launches with over 50 service providers and will initially serve King, Snohomish, Island, Kitsap, Pierce, Thurston, Mason and Lewis counties.

With over 40,000 veteran organizations in the country offering medical, financial, employment, housing and other services, finding and accessing services has become the number one self-reported issue for veterans and their families, according to a recent Blue Star Families survey. IVMF’s AmericaServes’ networks solve this problem by bringing together a wide range of vetted service providers. Veterans and their families work through the local WAServes coordination center to identify what they need; and the center, run by WestCare Washington, matches them with service providers. Using HIPPA-compliant technology, each case is monitored to ensure people’s needs are met.

“Many transitioning service members and veterans have more than one need so it can be extremely challenging for them to research hundreds of organizations to find the right services,” said Dr. Mike Haynie, IVMF executive director and Syracuse University vice chancellor. “WAServes solves this problem by bringing all of the great service organizations together in one place to make sure people can get the help they need.”

“Military and veteran families give so much to the country and the Schultz Family Foundation is dedicated to helping them during their transition back into civilian life,” said Howard Schultz, co-founder of the Schultz Family Foundation. “There are over 500,000 veterans in Washington state so we are proud to bring WAServes to the Puget Sound area. It shows how powerful the community can be when we come together and offer coordinated care to these incredible men and women and their families.”

“It was an honor to be selected by the Puget Sound veteran service community to manage the network and run the coordination center,” explained John Lee, SVP WestCare Washington. “Our experience working with federal, state and non-profit veteran service providers helped us assemble an incredibly strong network under the WAServes umbrella and we’re looking forward together to serve the veteran community.”

WAServes is the eighth network to launch in IVMF’s national AmericaServes portfolio. The Schultz Family Foundation, founded by Sheri Schultz and her husband Howard Schultz, supported the launch of the first “Serves” network in New York City in January 2015 and is happy to bring the program to their home state of Washington.

Individuals looking for services can engage with the WAServes network in three ways:

1. By phone: call 1-877-515-7848 to speak with a qualified professional
2. Online via the WAServes website at WAServes.org
3. In person by visiting any of the participating regional providers who can register people in the system and make referrals if needed.

For more information about WAServes visit http://www.WAServes.org. For more information about AmericaServes visit americaserves.org.

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Ronnie Burnett, Senior Director Public Relations, IVMF
Phone: (773) 807-2830, Email: ronnie.burnett(at)marchcorp.com

Jason Reindorp, Chief Communications Officer, Schultz Family Foundation
Phone: (206) 225-1570, Email: jason(at)schultzfamilyfoundation.org

About the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University
The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) is the first interdisciplinary national institute in higher education focused on the social, economic, education, and policy issues impacting veterans and their families. Through its professional staff and experts, the IVMF delivers leading programs in career, vocational, and entrepreneurship education and training, while also conducting actionable research, policy analysis, and program evaluations. The IVMF also supports communities through collective impact efforts that enhance delivery and access to services and care. The Institute, supported by a distinguished advisory board, along with public and private partners, is committed to advancing the lives of those who have served in America’s armed forces and their families. For more information, visit ivmf.syracuse.edu and follow the IVMF on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About AmericaServes
AmericaServes is the country's first coordinated system of public, private, and non-profit organizations working together to serve veterans, transitioning service members, and their families. Administered by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University, AmericaServes’ vision is that every service member, veteran, and their family can easily access the full range of comprehensive services required to achieve their unique goals, and to provide a superior service experience to match the participants’ first-class military service. For more information, visit americaserves.org and follow AmericaServes on Facebook and Twitter.

The Schultz Family Foundation
The Schultz Family Foundation was co-founded in 1996 by Sheri Kersch Schultz and her husband Howard Schultz, chairman and CEO of Starbucks Coffee Company. Guided by a belief that an “inequality of opportunity” is stifling America’s potential, the Foundation invests in innovative programs and partnerships that remove barriers to success and create new pathways to opportunity. The Schultz Family Foundation currently supports two national signature initiatives: Onward Youth and Onward Veterans. For more information, visit http://schultzfamilyfoundation.org or follow us on Twitter @SchultzFamilyFd.

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Ronnie Bernier Burnett
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