To mark this milestone, local and national leaders convene to discuss support for veterans.
MCKEES ROCKS, Pa. (Oct. 20, 2016) – McKees Rocks’ Father Ryan Arts Center is celebrating the anniversary of connecting Pittsburgh-area veterans and military family members to human services, care and resources through the PAServes: Greater Pittsburgh network. Since launching in October 2015 through Pittsburgh Mercy, the initiative, which connects public, private and nonprofit partners to serve local veterans and their families, has matched more than 900 individual Pittsburgh area veterans to more than 1,600 unique services in a coordinated way that was not previously possible.
To mark the initiative’s one-year milestone, community leaders from across the country will convene in Pittsburgh today to gather insights and other learnings about PAServes: Greater Pittsburgh’s operations and what’s ahead for the initiative from nationally recognized veteran transition expert, Dr. Mike Haynie. Dr. Haynie is a U.S. Air Force veteran, professor and founder of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University. Dr. Haynie also serves as Syracuse University’s Vice Chancellor. He will be joined by representatives of the local charitable foundations that provided the financial support to launch PAServes: Greater Pittsburgh, including the Heinz Endowments, the Mary Hillman Jennings Foundation, DSF Charitable Foundation, the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and Accenture.
The PAServes: Greater Pittsburgh network is part of a broader national effort, AmericaServes, led by IVMF with support from the Heinz Endowments. “As a key founder of the AmericaServes’ Greater Pittsburgh network, the Heinz Endowments has witnessed our service sector’s remarkable transformation during the past year from a set of individual organizations into a cohesive, collaborative network of nearly 40 trusted partners united in their goal,” said Megan Andros, program officer of the Heinz Endowments. “With the launch of our network in October 2015, we asked service providers to fundamentally alter the way they do work on a daily basis and they responded. Although we still have much work to do, the achievements to date are exciting and we are proud to support PAServes: Greater Pittsburgh.”
Sister Susan Welsh, RSM, president and CEO, Pittsburgh Mercy, reinforced the nonprofit’s commitment to PAServes: Greater Pittsburgh’s expansion into additional Pennsylvania regions over the next year. “On behalf of veteran service organizations and the additional thousands of veterans we aspire to serve, I’m thankful to the members of this transformative partnership that have worked to make PAServes: Greater Pittsburgh a success. Through our collective efforts, we have cut veteran unemployment, reduced veteran homelessness and made access to services and benefits easier for those that have served their country. PAServes: Greater Pittsburgh further enhances our area’s resource network and sets a high bar for the rest of the nation. I eagerly await the day when veterans, service members and their families, in more of Pennsylvania’s counties, will be able to access this game-changing resource.”
Today’s event at the Father Ryan Arts Center is more than a celebration; it also includes a comprehensive review of PAServes: Greater Pittsburgh performance as part of its transparent effort to drive greater outcomes for its beneficiaries. “We’re excited that the work of PAServes aligns so well with DSF Charitable Foundation’s goals of supporting veterans and of promoting sustainable models of excellence that may be replicated elsewhere in the nation,” said Nick Beldecos, executive director of DSF Charitable Foundation.
Veterans, service members and their families have several ways in which they can access PAServes: Greater Pittsburgh. In the local region, nearly 40 service health and human service providers are standing by to assist clients. Clients may also directly access the PAServes: Greater Pittsburgh network online at www.paserves.org or by phone at 855.838.7744. New markets will also be accessible through the state or directly as they become available.
Pittsburgh Mercy: Linda Ross, 412.578.6224, LRoss@pittsburghmercy.org
Zandy Dudiak, 412.578.6442, ZDudiak@pittsburghmercy.org
The Heinz Endowments: John Ellis, 412.338.2657, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Institute for Veterans and Military Families: Ilario Pantano, 910.616.9961, email@example.com
About Pittsburgh Mercy
Pittsburgh Mercy, part of Trinity Health, serving in the tradition of the Sisters of Mercy, is one of the region’s largest health and social service nonprofits and also one of its largest employers. Pittsburgh Mercy includes Bethlehem Haven, McAuley Ministries, Mercy Behavioral Health, Mercy Community Health, Mercy Intellectual Disabilities Services, Mercy Parish Nurse and Health Ministry Program, Operation Safety Net® and Pittsburgh Mercy Family Health Center. Together, these Pittsburgh Mercy programs and its 1,700 employees serve more than 33,000 individuals annually at more than 60 locations in Southwestern Pennsylvania. To learn more about Pittsburgh Mercy or to make a donation in support of its important work in the community, visit www.pittsburghmercy.org.
About the Heinz Endowments
The Heinz Endowments is devoted to the mission of helping our region prosper as a vibrant center of creativity, learning and social, economic and environmental sustainability. Core to our work is the vision of a just community where all are included and where everyone who calls southwestern Pennsylvania home has a real and meaningful opportunity to thrive.
About the Mary Hillman Jennings Foundation
The Mary Hillman Jennings Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life in Pittsburgh and southwestern Pennsylvania. The Foundation’s grant program primarily focuses on projects in the following areas: cultural advancement and the arts; education with a focus on at-risk youth; environment and conservation; human and social services with a focus on individuals with disabilities.
About the DSF Charitable Foundation
The DSF Charitable Foundation is the charitable-giving organization of the David Scaife family. The Foundation seeks to promote excellence in three program areas: health, human services and education. The grant program focuses on southwestern Pennsylvania, primarily Pittsburgh, where the Foundation is based. The Foundation has a particular interest in helping to create or sustain models of excellence that have potential to be replicated elsewhere and may therefore be of more general benefit to the nation. To learn more about DSF Charitable Foundation, visit www.dsfcf.org.
About the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF)
The IVMF is the first interdisciplinary national institute in higher education focused on the social, economic, education and policy issues impacting veterans and their families post-service. Supported by a world-class advisory board and public and private partners committed to advancing the post-service lives of America’s service members, veterans and their families, the IVMF and its professional staff deliver class-leading programs in career, vocations and entrepreneurship education and training. The IVMF also provides actionable and national impacting research, policy analysis and program evaluation; coordinates comprehensive collective impact strategies; and works with communities and non-profits to enhance service delivery for veterans and their families. Read more at vets.syr.edu.