Council’s 2016 annual report & 2017 goals

December 30, 2016 Knoxville Tennessee

The Knoxville Regional Mental Health Council’s fiscal year (FY)is from October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016 which is the same as the federal government FY calendar. The Council approved the FY 2016 annual report on 12-30-16; click here to read the full report.


Also included in the report are the FY 2017 Council goals:


  1. Partner with at least two (2) non-VA homecare and hospice facilities in the “We Honor Vets” program
  2. Co-develop a National Veterans/Military Friendly Congregation initiative with MCA
  3. Expand Veterans Courts (VC) in the 10th Judicial District, TennesseeCurrently one VC in Monroe County who accepts all JIVs in the 10th Judicial District.Expand to one of the three other Counties; Bradley, McMinn and Polk.
  4.  Expand V2VT VWC program Approve Veteran Friendly Congregations, Veterans Service Offices, Veteran Organizations and “We Honor Vets” facilities as V2VT VWC presenters.
  5. Promote and help expand VA telehealth programs in rural communities
  6. Partner with a “Celebrate Recovery” (CR) Church and expand CR outreach to rural southeastern Tennessee.

The Council, Vet to Vet Tennessee and all of the members of the Legacy Peer Support want to thank the countless men and women who have help us achieve all six (6) of our FY 2016 goals and more.  These accomplishments are only possible because of your support.  We have chosen some great outreach opportunities for FY 2017 and are confident with the continued support we will achieve them.

Happy and Blessed 2017 New Year

If you have any comments or would like to make some recommendations please complete the form below.  The Council and Vet to Vet Tennessee appreciates the feedback and incorporates information provided in the comments section and also through our after action reports.has been using feedback and after action reports to continuous improve the work product of the mission.

New Veteran/Military Friendly Congregation in Middle Tennessee

December 26, 2016 Lewisburg, Tennessee

Bethlehem Baptist Church’s Pastor Jerry Yerkes and Lay Leader John Nehlig enrolled in the VMFC program! 

Senior Pastor Yerkes has enrolled his church into the Veteran/Military Friendly Congregation (VMFC) program the day after Christmas.  Thank you Bethlehem Baptist Church for the blessed  We are blessed, honored and grateful to have Pastor Yerkes as part of the VMFC network.

Please email or call Pastor Yerkes ( or 931-637-4854) or John Nehlig ( or 931-626-9336) to welcome them into the network.

Please make sure you thank Vet to Vet Middle Tennessee’s Chaplain John Nehlig for his efforts in the VMFC program and help to get his church to be VMFC member.

Here is the link to the Bethlehem Baptist Church’s site.  To learn more about the VMFC initiative please visit the Military Chaplains Association or our VFMC page

Two New Veteran/Military Friendly Congregations Enroll

December 10, 2016 Tennessee

Pastor Larry Trotter and Stephen Yeaney enroll in the VMFC initiative.

larry-trotterSenior Pastor Larry Trotter has enrolled his church, Concord UMC,  into the Veteran/Military Friendly Congregation (VMFC) program in August 2016 & approved a new Vet to Vet TN Knox Outpost in their church.  Our first Knoxville Regional Veterans Mental Health Council meeting was held at Concord on September 8, 2016.  During the September meeting, Pastor Trotter and Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett were approved as the council’s newest members.  On September 12, 2016 Vet to Vet TN conducted their first Sands Veterans peer support at Concord.  The group continues to meet every Monday.  We received the official enrollment form today. Thank you Freddie Owens and Pastor Trotter. Concord UMC website



Early Saturday morning, December 10th, at the Oakland United Methodist Church in Greenback, Tennessee, Pastor Stephen Yeaney and his wife Donna were preparing breakfast for the mens group at 8:30 am.  V2VT officers Bob Hatley and Ed Junod were invited.  At the end Bob & Ed’s presentation, Pastor Stephen Yeaney executed the VMFC enrollment form.  Pastor Yeaney offered a training room at his church and will help locate and identify veterans, active duty military and their families in their community.  He a several of his veteran members have several ideas about their new mission. Oakland UMC Facebook

We are blessed, honored and grateful to have Pastor Trotter and Yeaney as part of our network.  Please send them an email or call them to welcome them into the network; contact info on the registry herewith attached.

To learn more about the VMFC initiative please visit the Military Chaplains Association or our VFMC page






Covenant Homecare/Hospice & V2VT Partner in “We Honor Vets” Program

December 8, 2016, Knoxville, Tennessee

covenant-homecareThe Council and Vet to Vet Tennessee finalized their new outreach program: “We Honor Vets” QPR suicide prevention program.  Clinical Social Worker Cindy Winterberger from Covenant Homecare/Hospice requested that we partner together on the “We Honor Vets” program a few months ago.  Covenant Homecare/Hospice is a Tier 2 “We Honor Vets” partner.

Actually Cindy presented the Covenant Homecare/Hospice “We Honor Vets” to the Council on September 8, 2016.  Ever since then, the Council and V2VT has been collaborating with Covenant and “We Honor Vets” to design a program to help hospice/palliative care providers learn more about veterans and help them achieve their tier requirements. We would like to especially thank Covenant Homecare/Hospice President John Huskey, Hospice Manager Tammy Westfall and Clinical Social Worker Cindy Winterberger, Freddie Owens, Barbara Scott and the QPR team for assisting in the development of our pioneering program.

John Huskey, President of Covenant Hospice was present at the Covenant Hospice inaugural “We Honor Vet” meeting.  President Huskey distributed the certificate that the staff presents to veterans in their care.

On Thursday, December 8th, the V2VT Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Veterans/Military/1st Responder team presented the program; the QPR team included: Don Davis, Ed Junod, Elizabeth Carr-Russell, Freddie Owens, Karl Griffith, Ken Russell, Randy Scott and Sheryn Davis. The survey results of the inaugural presentation is listed below in V2VT’s After Action Report.


If your organization is a “We Honor Vets” participant and would like to partner with V2VT, please call us at 865-336-2624 or leave a comment below. Or if your Hospice Pallative care organization would like to learn more about the “We Honor Vets” click here.