(Alexandria, VA – January 13, 2016) – Code of Support Foundation™ (COSF) has been awarded a $525,000 grant by Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation to pilot PATRIOTlink™, an innovative cloud-based navigation platform of strategically populated veteran support resources. The grant was awarded through the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation’s Mental Health & Well-Being initiative, which focuses on community-based solutions for the mental health and community integration needs of the post-9/11 veterans in the U.S., military service members, their families and the families of the fallen.

Out of the 22 million veterans in the U.S., an estimated 30% of veteran families in crisis require critical assistance from one or more service providers to ensure they have wrap-around support for their needs. Currently, there are more than 40,000 non-profits and thousands of local and federal government agencies with varying scope and eligibility requirements that are committed to assisting our nation’s heroes. COSF recognized that no one agency, government or non-profit, has the capacity to fulfill all of their complex needs, especially for those veterans in dire circumstances. That is why COSF’s PATRIOTlink cloud-based navigation platform is a tactical solution that contains a real-world connection between support organizations and how they share information in the veteran support space.

“Since 2011 Code of Support Foundation has been meeting the critical and complex needs of our nation’s service members, veterans and their families. We share with Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, a strong commitment to improving the health and long term wellbeing of our warrior population. Code of Support is thrilled that Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation found credence in the practical need for PATRIOTlink and its potential to be a force multiplier. Bristol-Myers Squibb now joins us as a partner to significantly increase and facilitate coordination between service providers across sectors and locales,” said Major General Alan B. Salisbury, USA, Ret. Code of Support Foundation CEO.

“Veterans leaving military service and their families face a range of issues, from physical and mental health challenges to housing, employment and education to a lack of social connections,” says John Damonti, president, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. “We are proud to assist Code of Support’s efforts to minimize the barriers veterans and their families face to ensure they can find and obtain the best possible support to address their needs.”

The need for greater efficiency in navigation, identification and leveraging of veteran resources was recognized in early 2014 as COSF specialists from the foundation’s Warrior Veteran & Family Support (WVFS) National Collaborative, a network of trusted public and private organizations across the U.S., conducted an in depth environmental scan of the veteran support services space. WVFS specialists solicited feedback from COSF’s case coordination team and other service organizations and determined that existing resource databases are difficult to navigate and often ineffective in identifying the multiple resources needed. Based on this feedback, specialists conceived and began developing PATRIOTlink to enable all service providers to collaborate more effectively and have greater collective impact than any organization is capable of alone.

Since April of 2015, WVFS specialists have performed a targeted thorough vetting and profiling process on more than 2,000 organizations. So far, 1,000 organizations have been qualified to be an active resource in the PATRIOTlink pilot. COSF’s process ensures that each profile represents program capacity, includes services provided and resources are tagged based on eligibility criteria such as service era, disability rating, discharge status, deployment history, geographic coverage, and population assisted. This will allow a service provider to perform searches that result in resources their client qualifies for, significantly reducing the amount of time it takes to find the additional resources their client needs.

Unique features of PATRIOTlink include:

• A straightforward navigation with strategically populated database of thoroughly vetted resources

• An advanced search function which matches recorded client needs, demographics, and military service history to the available services

• An option for local organizations to suggest additional resources, not listed in PATRIOTlink

• A gap analysis feature, fed by user experience, allowing for real time feedback to inform COSF national support efforts, as well as streamline the design and population of PATRIOTlink

• A direct contact to COSF for resource navigation support if service providers are unable to find the needed resources

Throughout the pilot phase, COSF will closely assess PATRIOTlink’s before and after impacts in case coordinator acuity by monitoring usage and effect on the amount of time taken to successfully find resources for veteran families and enable them to serve additional clients. Specialists will likewise measure and compare outcomes of veterans in crisis at clinics, with access to PATRIOTlink, with outcomes of the general veteran population that is in crisis. COSF is also working with its corporate partner EY (Ernst & Young) to develop and integrate additional evaluation criteria and sustainability capabilities for PATRIOTlink. These criteria will enable WVFS specialists to collect real-time data from pilot sites and front end users outside of COSF. The foundation expects to pilot PATRIOTlink this year in 15-20 community-based organizations.

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