Veterans’ Health

Project Title

Needs Assessment of Returning Veterans and their Families

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Veterans’ Health

Date Awarded

February 2, 2009


Outside New York State




In 2009, the New York Health Foundation (NYHealth) commissioned RAND, Inc. to perform New York’s first statewide needs assessment to examine the health, mental health, and social issues of returning veterans.

The report was commissioned shortly after the national “Invisible Wounds” study conducted by RAND in 2008. The needs assessment focused directly on veterans living in New York State, including veterans who currently use U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs services, as well as those who do not, and considered needs across a broad range of domains. NYHealth and its grantees have used this study to inform key stakeholders and policymakers across New York State, and to make recommendations in order to improve the wellbeing of veterans.

Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are at high risk of suffering from a multitude of health, mental health, and social issues that affect the quality of their lives and their ability to successfully reintegrate into their communities. The New York Health Foundation (NYHealth) has commissioned the RAND Corporation, an international nonprofit research institution, to conduct the first comprehensive needs assessment of the health, mental health, and social service needs of returning veterans and their families in New York State.


The study is part of the NYHealth Initiative for Returning Veterans and Their Families. This two-year funding initiative aims to advance solutions to address the needs of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families and is part of the Foundation’s broader Integration of Substance Use and Mental Health Services priority area. RAND’s assessment will identify the health, mental health, and social services needs of returning Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans and their families, and will provide the tools to better understand how these needs vary by geographic region, demographics, and socioeconomic factors.