Georgia Southern University

Magnolia Coastlands Area Health Education Center to Participate in Veteran’s Mental Health Program

The MCAHEC will participate in a National AHEC Organization (NAO) program to educate clinical and behavioral health professionals in its service area in ways to provide better care to military veterans and their families who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). AHEC staff members nationwide are being trained to coordinate continuing education for health professionals in local communities that will impact the mental and behavioral health services provided to veterans and increase their access to culturally competent care.

Funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the goal of this NAO program is to train 10,000 clinical professionals across the country to better serve the often unique needs of military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Although eligible for care through the Veterans’ Administration, veterans and their families living in rural areas may find it difficult to regularly visit a VA facility. This program is designed to provide clinical professionals across the country and particularly in rural areas with the tools they need to better treat veterans and their family members.

At the end of January, MCAHEC Center Director Mary Kate Pung and staff members Valerie Embry and Scott Denlinger, participated in a two-day workshop in Tampa, FL intended to familiarize AHEC staff in the goals of the program, and help them implement the training sessions in their local service areas. The MCAHEC service area is identified by HRSA and the NAO as an area in particular need of civilian clinicians versed in the behavioral health and physical health needs of veterans’ families. The MCAHEC is now planning for several continuing education sessions, including a web-based event.

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Military Resource Center • Nessmith-Lane Conference Center • Georgia Southern University • (912) 478-0206