SPC Empowers Whole Health Providers of Military City USA

August 6, 2018

Public Information Officer


The event is open to anyone-especially providers, veterans, and their families, but also anyone who encounters veterans and wants to know more about where to refer veterans

As the nation goes, so does Military City USA and St. Philip's College. National expansions, engagements and enlargements of whole health services for servicemembers, family members, service providers and community members in Military City USA will be highlighted when organizations dedicated to the whole health mission partner in the first public summit of its type to be held in partnership with St. Philip's College's Good Samaritan Veterans Outreach and Transition Center team this week.

All are welcome to attend the 2018 Veterans Affairs Community Mental Health and Wellness Summit themed Empower and Connect Aug. 9 at 10 a.m. with registration in the Artemisia Bowden Alumni Center of the college's G. J. Sutton Learning Center building located at 1801 Martin Luther King Drive, and events in other rooms within the building and elsewhere on the campus.

Timed to make sure decisions from the White House, the Pentagon and the Veterans Administration are shared in the field, the summit convenes key stakeholders in Military City USA who are subject matter experts in enhancing access to mental health services and other resources that will help local veterans and their family members lead positive, meaningful lives. While the program traditionally appeals to veterans, transitioning servicemembers, family members, service providers and community members, kids activities are also in store. Find information and pre-register for the event online at www.2018SATXMHSummit.eventbrite.com.

The bevy of summit planning committee partner organizations included Cohen Military Family Clinic, Grace After Fire, PTSD Foundation, Texas A&M San Antonio, Texas Serves, Warm Springs, Northwest Veterans Center and VA. Army veteran Roberta Castaneda is the senior advisor at the college's Good Samaritan Veterans Outreach and Transition Center, a first-time facility host team member for the summit---and a perennial summit presenter in addition to her capacity as a summit planning committee member.

"We are a dedicated planning, doing and giving back organization, with outstanding partners and a rewarding mission. I have been a part of the VA Mental Health Planning Committee for a few years, as I have been a keynote speaker in the past," said Castaneda. "Our center's perspective is one in which we want to continue to work collaboratively with the Veterans Affairs Administration so that we support medical, mental health and claims/benefits services. St. Philip's College and our center have never hosted this program or event---this is the first time for this event at our college. Recently, we collaborated with the VA Compensated Work Therapy Program team and other community partners to host the first three-day Employment Summit at the college in July. Currently we have a memorandum of understanding with the Veterans Center providing re-adjustment counseling with licensed social workers in our facility Tuesday and Wednesday of each month," Castaneda said.

"The event is open to anyone-especially providers, veterans, and their families, but also anyone who encounters veterans and wants to know more about where to refer them," said Castaneda.

In order to transform whole health service within the Military City USA community, the college reached out to partner with the regional and local Veterans Administration business units that help service members, their care-givers and their family members with whole health. Established in 2011 to extend the St. Philip's College experience for veterans beyond the traditional campus and online classroom services, the center that is a city and college partnership is hosting a growing number of no-cost events that help people. When free events such as the summit exceed the size of the center property at 202 Connelly St., they are held in spaces on the campus, Castaneda explained.

The opening address for the summit will be provided by Robert Walton, director of the South Texas Veterans Health Care System, with additional remarks by Dr. Betsy Davis, VA Local Recovery Coordinator. Other presenters will include physical therapy assistant, peer, vocational, eligibility and enrollment experts from VA. Summit sessions rage from creating veteran-friendly spaces with Castaneda to PTSD and promoting resilience during transitions and self-care for caregivers. A veteran panel themed Overcoming Mental Health and Transition Challenges and moderated by Eric Montgomery of the VA Veterans Experience Office includes Juanita Sepulveda of the PTSD Foundation of America. Suicide prevention will also be addressed as on average 20 veterans die by suicide each day, and 14 of those 20 were not engaged in VA care at the time.

For details on the St. Philip's College Good Samaritan Veterans Outreach and Transition Center operations, contact center director William Moseley at 210-486-2506, wmoseley1@alamo.edu - spc-gsvotc@alamo.com.