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AUGUSTA WARRIOR PROJECT CONTINUES TO ADMINISTER OPERATION FAMILY CAREGIVER (OFC) FOR THE ROSALYNN CARTER INSTITUTE FOR CAREGIVING

THE PROGRAM IS DESIGNED TO HELP FAMILIES OF RETURNING SERVICE MEMBERS COPE WITH HEALTH ISSUES SUCH AS TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY, POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS AND PHYSICAL DISABILITY

Augusta, GA – March 15, 2016 — Recognizing the great challenges faced by returning military service members and their families, the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving (RCI) program has expanded its signature military caregiver program, Operation Family Caregiver (OFC), for the second straight year into August, GA.  Augusta was selected due to its high concentration of post-9/11 veterans, active military personnel, and guard/reservists.

In Augusta, Operation Family Caregiver will continue to be administered by the Augusta Warrior Project (AWP). Understanding that many of the issues Warriors face are both interconnected and complex, AWP takes great pride in holistically taking care of not only their needs, but also the needs of the entire family. The dynamic of caring for a loved one coping with a service-connected disability is an issue many local families face.  Continuing to provide Operation Family Caregiver to its services ensures AWP’s model of holistically caring for Warriors and their families is both inclusive and resourceful.

“We are honored that the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving has selected the Augusta Warrior Project to administer Operation Family Caregiver for the second straight year,” said Kim Elle, President/CEO of the Augusta Warrior Project. “We know these important programs will have a lasting impact on our Warriors and their families for many years to come and are proud to be a part of its success.”

Since 2001, more than 30 percent of the 2.4 million active-duty and reserve military personnel deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan have returned home suffering from mental and physical disabilities. Many spouses, siblings, and parents are thrust into the unexpected role of caregiver when their loved one comes home. The needs of these caregivers – for example, taking care of their own physical and emotional well-being, maintaining social ties, and avoiding isolation – frequently go unmet while they care for their family.

Operation Family Caregiver (OFC) is a proven, evidence-based program that provides support to the families of injured service members and veterans, either in person or via Skype. Specially-trained coaches teach military families the skills they need to overcome unforeseen challenges and cope more effectively with problems they never imagined. Caregivers who complete the program are more satisfied with their lives, have fewer health complaints, and are generally more prepared to take care of their families.

Operation Family Caregiver launched in 2012 with catalytic funding from Johnson & Johnson. The program was piloted in Johnstown, PA, and expanded to San Diego, CA; Killeen, TX (Fort Hood); and Buffalo, NY, in 2013. The program helps families of returning service members coping with health issues such as traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress and physical disability.

“After a year, we are seeing people come through the program, and it is easy to see how much more equipped these caregivers are to provide the right kind of support to their husbands, wives, and children,” said RCI’s executive director Dr. Leisa Easom. “We know the program works, and we just need to make it available to more families.”

For more information, please contact: Tracy Mitchell, OFC Program Manager via phone at (706) 691-2642 or e-mail at tmitchell@augustawarriorproject.org.

About Augusta Warrior Project:
Augusta Warrior Project (AWP) connects Warriors (veterans, service members, and military families) with resources that improve their lives. AWP serves all Warriors, of all eras, from all branches of service, wounded or not.  AWP’s service area covers 13 counties in the area surrounding Augusta, GA and Aiken, SC. AWP connects Warriors to resources, educates Warriors on what is available to them, advocates on the Warriors behalf, and collaborates with partnering agencies to ensure all needs are met. To learn more about AWP visit www.AugustaWarriorProject.org.

Media Contacts:
Daniel Almond
CMPR
daniel@cmpr.net
205-394-2575


Photo Credit = “Comes The Tide” courtesy of Wesley Prints