“VETSTHRIVENYC”

A new healthcare model is combining medicine and the arts to help meet the needs of New York City’s veterans.

Aired on May 29, 2018.

TRANSCRIPT

> HOMELESS VETERANS SUFFERING HENLT ISSUES, OFTEN MOVE AMONG US SILENTLY BEARING THE COST OF OUR NATION WARS, PHYSICALLY EMOTIONALLY AND FINANCIALLY.

NOW HUNDREDS OF THOUSAND THOUSANDS OF VETS CALLING NEW YORK CITY HOME ARE GETTING THE HELP THEY NEED.

A NEW PROGRAM VETS THRIVE IS WORK WITH THE CITY'S FIRST LADY AND HER THRIVE NYC HELP PROGRAM HERE TO TALK ABOUT THIS AND SO MUCH BEING DONE FOR THE VETERANS ALL THE DETAIL IS RETIRED BRIGADIER GENERAL.

DR. LORIE SUTTON NICE TO HAVE YOU HERE.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

I WANT TO START OFF BEFORE WE GET TO THESE PROGRAMS BY TALKING ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND.

TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU DO GIVE US A SNAPSHOT IF YOU WILL IN THE MANIPULATOR AND PREPARED YOU TO SAY I WANT TO DO THIS WITH MY LIFE NOW.

I THOUGHT I WAS BLESSED FOR NEARLY 30 DAYS TO SERVE IN THE ARMY AS AN ARMY PSYCHIATRIST.

I HAD MORE OF MY SHARE OF OPERATIONAL ASSIGNMENTS.

GIVEN WHAT'S GOING ON WITH THE TROOPS IN THE LAST TWO DECADES.

INCLUDING MY LAST ASSIGNMENT WHICH WAS TO COME TO WASHINGTON, D.C. WHEN THE ARMY WAS IN A SHAMABLES AFTER THE WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE AND THE SCANDAL AT WALTER REED.

AND IT WAS MY RESPONSIBILITY TO DESIGN, STAND UP AND LEAD THE DEFENSE CENTERS OF EXCELLENCE FOR PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTH AND TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY.

SO I NEVER COULD HAVE IMAGINED AFTER RETIRING FROM THE ARMY ASSET LATE 2010 -- COULD NEVER HAVE IMAGINED THIS OPPORTUNITY HERE IN NEW YORK CITY, THE GREATEST CITY ON EARTH.

YOU'RE THE FOUNDING COMMISSIONER OF THIS DEPARTMENT FOR VETERANS AFFAIRS.

ONE WERE YOU SURPRISED THERE WASN'T ONE?

HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT THEN SAYING ALL RIGHT WE'RE GOING TO START ONE?

THERE WAS THIS CONVERGENCE OF LOORDSHIP GOING ON FOUR YEARS AGO WITH THIS MAYOR AND THE CITY COUNCIL WITH THE SPEAKER AND THE NEW CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE ON VETERANS -- AND THEN THIS MULTIGENERATIONAL COHORT OF NEW YORK CITY VETERANS ADVOCATES AND CIVILIAN ALLIES THAT CAME FORWARD AND DEMANDED THIS IS THE TIME.

AND SO THE MAYOR AND THE SPEAKER SHOOK HANDS.

WE SIGNED THE PAPERWORK ON THE DECK OF THE INTRIP HE HAD.

AND WE LAUNCHED THIS JOURNEY ON JULY 8th.

WE WILL ACTUALLY BE LAUNCHING OUR YEAR NUMBER THREE.

I WAS INTRIGUED BY THE NOTION OF SORT OF A PYRAMID WITH FOUR ECHELONS INVOLVED.

STARTING FROM THE BOTTOM TALKING ABOUT CULTURE.

THINK OF THE PYRAMID, THIS MODEL.

C 41 CLINGLE TREATMENT AT THE TOP TP BUT THE FOUNDATION, THE STRENGTH-BASED FOUNDATION -- A FOUNDATION OF GRIT OUR VERSION OF GRIT IS GROWTH RESILIENCY INTEGRATE AND TEAM WORK.

THE FOUNDATION IS C 1 CULTURE.

CULTURE EDUCATION AND THE ARTS.

WE BROUGHT ONBOARD BRIAN DOORY BRINGING HIS THEATER OF WAR WORK TO SCALE ACROSS THE CITY AND REACHING OUT AND CONNECTING WITH ALL KINDS OF CULTURAL ORGANIZATIONS, BRINGING, YOU KNOW THE ARTS TO OUR VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS.

WE'RE MAKING A VERY BOLD STATEMENT.

YOU LEARNED ABOUT THE HEALING POWER.

THAT CULTURE AND THE ARTS -- IT'S NOT FLUFF.

IT'S NOT A LUXURY THAT SHOULD BE RESERVED FOR THE VERY AFFLUENT OR LUCKY.

IT'S LIFE, FOOD FOR THE SOUL.

IT CONNECTS US TO OUR SHARED HUMANITY ACROSS TIME.

IT REMINDS US WE'RE NOT ALONE.

CRITICAL.

THERE IS SO MUCH MORE.

AND I WANT TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT THAT BUT WE DON'T HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO DEAL WITH ALL OF IT.

BUT LET ME GET TO ONE THING I THINK IS VERY IMPORTANT AND I KNOW IT'S IMPORTANT TO YOU.

WE TALKED ABOUT THE STRUCTURE OF THE PYRAMID.

BUT I KNOW WHAT'S IMPORTANT TO YOU IS THERE ARE OTHER PROGRAMS OUT THERE.

UM-HUM.

FOR WHATEVER REASON THEY DIFFERENTIATE AMONG VETERANS BY THE NATURE OF THE DMARJ OR DATE OF ZHARNG.

SO SOME GET ACCESS TO THE PROGRAMS AND OTHERS WON'T.

HOW DO YOU HANDLE THAT?

WE ADVOCATE FULLY FOR ALL SERVICES WSH O, ALL THE ERA OF VETERANS.

ALL DISCHARGES.

IF YOU EVER RAISED YOUR RIGHT HAND AND TOOK THE OATH YOU ARE A VETERAN IN OUR WORLD.

BECAUSE WE'RE THE CITY -- WE'RE THE BACK STOP.

WE HAVE TO BE THERE FOR EVERYONE AND WE'RE SO PROUD TO BE THERE FOR EVERYONE.

AND YOU KNOW, GOING WITH THE MODEL OF THE C 2 CONNECTION, THE PEER TO PEER BOND WE HAVE FOUND THAT THAT IS THE MOST POWERFUL -- MOST POWERFUL BOND.

THESE ARE MEN AND WOMEN WHO HAVE FAITH TO THE DEATH FOR EACH OTHER AND OUR WAY OF LIFE.

TO CONNECT THEM TO MENTORS WE ESTABLISHED A MENTORSHIP PROGRAMS.

ALL FAMILY MEMBERS AND VETERANS AND WELCOMED AND JOINED AND WE HAVE 25 DIFFERENT O-S PARTNERING TOGETHER IN THE ECOSYSTEM TO GET THE RIGHT FOOT.

AND C 3 THAT'S COMMUNITY HOLISTIC SERVICES.

THESE ARE THE THINGS WE INVESTED IN TEN YEARS AGO.

PEOPLE THOUGHT WE WERE CRAZY.

I KNEW FROM TALKING TO THE VET CENTER FOLKS.

I KNEW WE HAD TO GO BEYOND THE MED CAPITAL MODEL TO INCLUDE THINGS ISAK PUNCTURE, YOGA AND EQUINE THERAPY.

THINGS THAT MAKE PEOPLE FEEL NATURAL AND BRING THEM BACK TO A STATE WHERE THEY CAN RESTORE SAFE AND TRUSTING RELATIONSHIPS WITH EACH OTHER, THEIR FAMILIES, COWORKERS AND GO ON TO SERVE LIVES.

YOU AND I COULD TALK FOR ABOUT AN HOUR ABOUT THIS WE'RE GETTING YOU BACK HERE AND TALK MORE ABOUT THIS AND TALK MORE OF THE DETAILS.

BUTS THIRD YEAR AND THE WORK BEING DONE IS MAGNIFICENT.

I WANT TO CANTING YOU AND THE STAFF AND EVERYBODY DOING IT.

OUR HOPE IS WE CAN COME BACK IN AND TALK ABOUT THIS AS IT CONTINUES.

I WOULD BE HONORED TO DO SO THANK YOU.

THANK YOU FROM ALL OF US FOR WHAT ALL OF YOU ARE DOING AND CERTAINLY TO ALL OF THE VETERANS FOR WHAT THEY'VE DONE FOR US THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

AND REMINDER FOR YOU, FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS VERY IMPORTANT PROGRAM FOR THE CITY'S VETERANS MAKE SURE YOU VISIT US AT METROFOCUS.ORG.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, The Peter G. Peterson and Joan Ganz Cooney Fund, Bernard and Denise Schwartz, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, The Ambrose Monell Foundation, Janet Prindle Seidler, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

WNET

© WNET All Rights Reserved.

825 Eighth Avenue

New York, NY 10019