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Day of Giving

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By Sabrina Connelly

Out of respect for today’s social climate, the Cohen Veterans Network, including the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Centerstone dedicated a day to listening, learning and growing together.  This special day is described below by our Lead Clinician, Sabrina Connelly.

Out of respect for what is happening in today’s social climate, Cohen Veterans Network leadership requested that each of its 17 clinics across the nation set aside June 26th as a “Day of Giving.” Considering the need for social distancing, the team had to get creative around the idea of “giving” and what that would look like in the context of racial and social injustice. The intention of the day was to not only acknowledge and reflect on the injustices in our society, but also to consider how we can incorporate cultural changes that are more inclusive in both our personal and professional lives.

We engaged in four very thoughtful presentations put together by our very own staff that addressed topics such as talking with children about racism, being “Color Brave,” healing ourselves and others from racial trauma, and racial and gender disparity in the military. The team discussed each of these topics at length and was then provided the opportunity to reflect on things they learned and actions they were willing to take in order to become more proactive in the fight against racial inequality. The team engaged in multiple difficult discussions, always approaching them with openness and a willingness to learn. The vulnerability was palpable and the growth profound.

At Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Centerstone, our core values include integrity, community, and excellence. We felt it was our duty to engage in these difficult discussions during our “Day of Giving” in order to remain in alignment with these values. It is our vision to provide excellent care to our local veteran community which means not only expanding our awareness and perspective around racial and social injustice, but also ensuring that our clinic truly reflects equality and inclusion. It is imperative for us to be a safe place for all individuals who are courageous enough to seek care at our clinic and we acknowledge the trust that is involved in that decision.

Through our “Day of Giving” each one of our staff not only grew as individuals and clinicians, but we also grew as a team. It is our intention for this to be the first of many thoughtful discussions within our clinic walls that provoke change and move us towards inclusivity so that we can better serve each client that comes through our clinic doors.

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