Blue Star Families and United Health Foundation Launch Initiative to Train and Support Military Caregivers

Blue Star Families and United Health Foundation Launch Initiative to Train and Support Military Caregivers

Congressman Sanford Bishop, Jr. (GA-2) talks to military caregivers during a Capitol Hill forum that highlighted unique military caregiver challenges. During the forum a new initiative was announced by United Health Foundation and Blue Star Families to train and support military caregivers. L to R: Sherrie Wilcox, PhD, CHES, caregiver and senior research advisor at BSF; Marine spouse and caregiver Callie Barr, BSF Operation Family Caregiver Program; Congressman Bishop; and Tom Wiffler, chief operating officer of UnitedHealthcare Military & Veterans. Photo Source: Barbara Salisbury

Kathy Roth-Douquet (speaking), CEO of Blue Star Families discusses a new initiative by United Health Foundation and Blue Star Families during a forum on caregiver challenges and opportunities to train and support military caregivers. United Health Foundation announced a $750,000 grant to support the initiative. L to R: Lynda Davis, caregiver and executive director, Military Veterans Caregiver Network; Megan Bunce, caregiver and director of community affairs, America’s Warrior Project; caregiver Callie Barr, BSF Operation Family Caregiver Program; Kathy Roth-Douquet, BSF. Photo Source: Barbara Salisbury

UnitedHealthcare Military & Veterans COO Tom Wiffler speaks with military caregivers during a forum on Capitol Hill where United Health Foundation announced a $750,000 grant to to Blue Star Families to train and support military caregivers. Photo Source: Barbara Salisbury

U.S. Senator Richard Burr (NC) talks to military caregivers during a Capitol Hill forum highlighting unique military caregiver challenges. During the forum a new initiative was announced by United Health Foundation and Blue Star Families to train and support military caregivers. L to R: Lynda Davis, caregiver and executive director, Military Veterans Caregiver Network; Megan Bunce, caregiver and director of community affairs, America’s Warrior Project; caregiver Callie Barr, BSF Operation Family Caregiver Program; Senator Burr. Photo Source: Barbara Salisbury

Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) speaks with military caregivers during a forum on Capitol Hill that highlighted caregiver challenges. During the event United Health Foundation and Blue Star Families announced a new initiative to train and support military caregivers. Photo Source: Barbara Salisbury

Marine spouse and caregiver Callie Barr, BSF Operation Family Caregiver Program, discusses military caregiver challenges during a Capitol Hill forum on the issue where United Health Foundation announced a $750,000 grant to Blue Star Families to train and support military caregivers. Photo Source: Barbara Salisbury

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Friday, February 5, 2016 - 9:00am

CAMPAIGN: United Health Foundation

CONTENT: Blog

  • United Health Foundation donates $750,000 to fund The Blue Star Cares: Military Caregiver Online Interactive Program, which will leverage avatar technology to train and support military caregivers
     
  • Capitol Hill forum brings together experts to discuss caregiver challenges, policies, research and opportunities to enhance pilot program development

Blue Star Families and United Health Foundation announced a new initiative to train and support military caregivers.

The Blue Star Cares: Military Caregiver Online Interactive Program, funded by a $750,000 grant by United Health Foundation, aims to increase caregiver knowledge, skills and confidence related to caring for wounded warriors, enhance their social support networks through a continuum of care, and improve caregiver quality of life through new online training and interactive resources. The training platform will use avatar technology to create computer-based simulations and care scenarios to help caregivers problem-solve and address real-life challenges to care.

Military and veteran experts, members of Congress -- including U.S. Senator Richard Burr and Congressmen Scott Peters and Sanford Bishop -- and caregivers discussed unique military caregiver challenges and opportunities on Capitol Hill to enhance the program's development.

"There are about 5.5 million military caregivers in the United States, and the emotional and physical impact of caregiving can be extraordinary, " said Noeleen Tillman, executive director for Blue Star Families. "Through the support of United Health Foundation, this new program will provide caregivers valuable resources and training to help improve their own quality of life and the care they are providing to our wounded warriors."

"Military caregivers make tremendous sacrifices every day, and their continued well-being is vital to promoting healthier families and our military readiness," said Tom Wiffler, chief operating officer of UnitedHealthcare Military & Veterans, which provides health care services for nearly 2.9 million service members, military retirees and their families. "This grant will further enable the vital work of Blue Star Families and create new, technology-driven training and resources to improve the health and well-being of caregivers and their loved ones."

"There are many military caregivers that don't identify as caregivers when they're not in the hospital or have unseen injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, which can be isolating," said Callie Barr, Marine Corps spouse and caregiver. "We need to recognize these caregivers and help them feel supported and understood. This Blue Star Families initiative is a huge step in the right direction."

About Blue Star Families
Blue Star Families is a national, nonprofit network of military families from all ranks and services, including guard and reserve, dedicated to supporting, connecting and empowering military families. With our partners, Blue Star Families hosts a robust array of morale and empowerment programs. Blue Star Families also works directly with the Department of Defense and senior members of local, State and Federal government to bring the most important military family issues to light. In concert with fellow nonprofits, community advocates and public officials, Blue Star Families raises awareness of the challenges and strengths of military family life and works to make military life more sustainable. Our worldwide membership includes military spouses, children, parents and friends, as well as service members, veterans and civilians. For more information visit bluestarfam.org, facebook.com/bluestarfamilies or twitter.com/BlueStarFamily.

About United Health Foundation
Through collaboration with community partners, grants and outreach efforts, United Health Foundation works to improve our health system, build a diverse and dynamic health workforce and enhance the well-being of local communities. United Health Foundation was established by UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) in 1999 as a not-for-profit, private foundation dedicated to improving health and health care. To date, United Health Foundation has committed more than $285 million to programs and communities around the world. We invite you to learn more at www.unitedhealthfoundation.org or follow @UHGGives on Twitter or Facebook.com/UHGGives.

 

Contacts:      

L.D. Platt                                               

United Health Foundation                              

(202) 654-8830

ld_platt@uhg.com 

 

Bana Miller    

Blue Star Families

(844) 202-7827, x4

bmiller@bluestarfam.org