New Council 2018 Council member and awards

January 11, 2018.  Knoxville, Tennessee.  First 2018 Council meeting opened with introduction of two new Council members;  Emily Hager, Navy Officer Veteran & UT Phd Candidate and Nikki DiFillipi, Air Force Veteran & Community Manager for Humana Ins.  Great additions to the Council especially since one of the 2018 goals is “Female Veterans Outreach & Recognition.”

Immediately after the intro, Freddie Owens, Council Co-Chair presented Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett with the George A. Thomas Memorial Award for his continued faithful support to the Veterans of Knox County.  View photo.

Immediately after the Mayor’s remarks, Ed Junod, Council Chairman, announced three VA Council Liaisons were awarded with the Joseph “JL Tucker Memorial Award:

VA VISN 9 Deputy Mental Health Director Robert “Rob” Campbell.  Mr. Campbell has been a dedicated Council liaison since August 2015  View photo

Mountain Home VAMC Assoicate Chief of Staff PACT Dr. Elizabeth Bishop was the Chief Medical Officer of KOPC when the Council was formed in November 2012.  Dr. Bishop leadership and vision helped the Council meet their goals but also has improved the KOPC facility tremendously.  View photo. 

Humana and VTVT Collaborate to Prevent Veteran Suicide

2018 began with a new partnership to stop veteran suicide with Humana.  This is the second year the Vet to Vet Tennessee (VTVT) began the new year with a new partnership to prevent and stop veteran suicide.  Last year on January 3, 2017 VTVT provided our Smoky Mountain Home/Hospice Care with VTVT’s evidence-based Veteran Specific QPR suicide prevention training to all six of their offices.

On January 4, 2018 VTVT  trained Humana staff at the Knoxville TN office at the request of Air Force Veteran and Community Manager Nikki DeFillipi.  VTVT trainers were Don & Shery Davis, Freddie Owens and Ed Junod.

67% of those who committed suicide did NOT go to the VA.

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VA Veteran Services

2017 Accomplishments & 2018 Goals

December 30, 2017

Thanks to the support of numerous federal, state and local governmental agencies, Veteran/Military Friendly Congregations, Ministries, Universities and Organization, we have complete all six of our 2017 goals.  The board has selected 6 new goals for 2018 listed below.  To read the full 2017 FY Annual report click here.

Goals for Fiscal Year 2018:

  • Opiate Abuse Education/Accidental Overdose
  • Women Veterans’ Outreach and Service Recognition
  • VA Chaplain Services in KOPC and rural communities
  • 2nd Expungement Clinic
  • Increase Veteran Specific Suicide Prevention/Intervention outreach/education
  • Blount County 50th Annual Veterans Day event
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