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Highmark Foundation awards $275,000 to eight organizations supporting female veterans

Nov. 9, 2018 | PITTSBURGH, Pa.

PITTSBURGH (Nov. 9, 2018) — The Highmark Foundation announced today $275,000 in grants to eight organizations that support female veterans. The grants support programs in western and central Pennsylvania, impacting approximately 2,000 veterans throughout the regions. Three organizations received $50,000 grants to meet the greater needs of female veterans in their communities, and five organizations received $25,000 grants each.

"While many programs focus on veterans, the Highmark Foundation has seen a gap in meeting the specific needs of female veterans," said Highmark Foundation President Yvonne Cook. "We know our support of these eight organizations will make an immediate difference in the lives of over 2,000 female vets. Just as importantly, we believe many of these programs could be replicated in other communities."

Grants were made to the following organizations:

  • Adagio Health: Women Veterans Health Program ($50,000)
    The program will increase access to health and wellness services and promote integrated health care services for women veterans in Erie and Indiana counties.
  • Duquesne University of the Holy Spirit: Toward Mental Health Equity, Empowering Female Veterans: Promoting Mental Health First Aid ($25,000)
    This project, a joint venture with Duquesne University's Veterans to Bachelors of Science in Nursing (VBSN) program, will train and certify groups of female veterans in mental health first aid.
  • Highlands Health: Services to Female Veterans ($50,000)
    Highlands Health utilizes patient navigators to establish a systematic, patient-centered approach focused on individual female veteran patients. The program will also collaborate with organizations that provide services to female veterans including referrals, consultations, follow-up monitoring, and evaluation.
  • Institute for Military Veterans and Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University: PA-Serves Greater Pittsburgh ($50,000)
    PAServes-Greater Pittsburgh, with partner IVMF at Syracuse University, have invested in the Pittsburgh area to overcome systemic challenges to service delivery and health care access for veterans. Through the use of technology and personal support from the Coordination Center — Pittsburgh Mercy Health System (PMHS), an increasing number of veterans and their families will experience an easier time navigating crucial resources.
  • Lehigh Valley Hospital, Inc.: Addressing Military Sexual Trauma Among Women Veterans in the Lehigh Valley ($25,000)
    The Veterans Health Program of Lehigh Valley Hospital will build its capacity to serve women veterans through outreach and educational programs that address military sexual trauma (MST) experienced by women while serving in the U.S. military. The program will foster post-traumatic growth among women veterans who experienced MST while serving their country.
  • United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania: PA 2-1-1 Southwest Veterans Resource Navigator ($25,000)
    This capacity building grant will enable the United Way 2-1-1 to develop an integrated platform that connects female veterans contacting 2-1-1 with a human service need to quality and timely health and health-related services.
  • Veterans Place of Washington Boulevard: Veterans Place Outreach to Female Veterans ($25,000)
    Veterans Place will take a multi-pronged approach as it expands its Day Program support services to reach an increased number of female veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
  • YWCA of Greater Harrisburg: Illness Management and Recovery ($25,000)
    The YWCA of Greater Harrisburg will offer an evidence-based practice series provided through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to female veterans residing in south central Pennsylvania counties. The evidence-based practice of Illness Management and Recovery (IMR) is a carefully tailored series of instruction done in groups as well as individual sessions that helps consumers understand their illness.
About the Highmark Foundation

The Highmark Foundation is a private, charitable organization of Highmark Inc. that supports initiatives and programs aimed at improving community health. The Foundation's mission is to improve the health, well-being and quality of life for individuals who reside in the communities served by Highmark Inc. The Foundation strives to support evidence-based programs that impact multiple counties and work collaboratively to leverage additional funding to achieve replicable models. For more information, visit


Matt Stehl
Highmark Health