Veterans’ Health

Project Title

Connecting New York State Veterans and Their Families to High-Quality Community Services: Phase 2

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Veterans’ Health

Date Awarded

May 8, 2015







In response to ongoing challenges facing veterans, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) launched its Rapid Response Referral Program (RRRP) for returning veterans and their families.

Initially, the program linked veterans to case managers and veteran-specific resources across New York City, providing broader access to benefits in a community setting. Services range from helping veterans and family members deal with depression and stress to getting them connected to health care, mental health, legal, housing, and employment services. In 2013, NYHealth awarded IAVA a grant to double its capacity by expanding RRRP across New York State. In 2015, NYHealth awarded IAVA a second grant to further expand the program.

Under this grant, IAVA extended the reach of the program and developed a sustainable plan to continue RRRP in the future. Specifically, IAVA broadened its outreach in locations where demand for mental health services is high, partnering with institutions of higher education, Supportive Services for Veteran Families sites in New York City and on Long Island, and Fort Drum, NY. IAVA developed a comprehensive business plan and identify funding sources to scale the program beyond this grant. IAVA aims to have a long-term plan in place to scale RRRP to serve at least 10% of the 88,000 veterans living in New York State who served in either Iraq or Afghanistan. IAVA used the outcomes of RRRP to leverage its role as a credible advocate among policymakers to inform and promote policies in New York State that focus on the needs of returning veterans.