Originally Published by Cigna

The Cigna Foundation announced it will give a $100,000 grant to Veterans Recovery Resources, a community-based, non-profit organization that offers professional clinical care and peer-based wellness programs to military service members, veterans, families, caregivers and survivors in southwest Alabama and surrounding areas.

The Cigna Foundation grant will fund additional peer support specialists, who provide collaborative care beyond clinical services to fellow veterans on their recovery journey. The peer support specialists, who are veterans themselves, are uniquely equipped to offer practical skills, knowledge and assistance as well as empathy and hope.

“Unless you’ve been there, it’s difficult to build trust with someone who doesn’t understand your experiences. Peer support is anchored in trust through shared experience; that’s why it’s so effective,” said John Kilpatrick, founder and Executive Director of Veterans Recovery Resources and a military veteran. “We are grateful the Cigna Foundation recognizes the value that an evidence-based, trauma-informed peer support program can bring to the lives of veterans.”

Veterans Recovery Resources offers a continuum of clinically-based medical and behavioral services, peer support programming and community integration activities to provide a veteran-centered, holistic and phase-based approach to substance abuse and mental wellness.

“At Cigna, we have a long-standing commitment to veterans. We’re privileged to support organizations that provide services supporting whole person health to help veterans thrive, both in body and mind,” said Susan Stith, executive director, Cigna Foundation. “Veterans Recovery Resources is building a community of support for veterans, and we are proud that this grant will allow them to expand their reach.”

Earlier this year, Cigna and the Department of Veterans Affairs announced a partnership to help educate veterans about safe opioid use and improve the delivery of care and health outcomes for veterans; and Cigna’s free Veterans Support Line (855-244-6211) is available to all veterans, families, and caregivers with services and resources for pain management, substance use counseling and treatment, and more.

Recognized by Military Times in their 2019 “Best for Vets” list, Cigna has consistently supported veterans and military families through hiring initiatives and providing them with an environment for success. Salute, a Cigna enterprise resource group, which is employee-led and backed by executive leadership, offers an open forum, support, and programming for employees who serve or have served in the military, their families, and those that support our veterans.

Across the country on this Veterans Day, Cigna will honor its 2,500 employees who are veterans, as well as veterans in our communities. Events, many planned by Salute members, include free health screenings for service members, veterans and their families in Dallas and San Diego; local veteran job fairs in Denison and Houston, Texas; and supporting a local Veterans Day parade in Phoenix.

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