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Florida Military Families Gifted Family Fun

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Families of deployed Florida National Guard Soldiers and Airmen are having some fun thanks to two Florida based Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinics.  The network of more than 14 clinics nationwide was founded by the philanthropic efforts of Steven A. Cohen to provide compassionate, accessible mental health care to post 9/11 veterans and their family members. Recently, two of those clinics- based out of Tampa and Jacksonville- joined forces to distribute 60 Military Family Activity Bags to this most deserving population.

“We are honored to be able to do something like this for our military families,” Brigadier General (ret.) Michael Fleming, outreach director from the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Centerstone, Jacksonville, said. “Thanks to a generous donation recently gifted to us by CSX, we were able to put together some wonderful family fun. Our colleagues at the Cohen Clinic at Aspire in Tampa, stepped up as well to fund an additional 30 bags which helped ensure we spread that fun around the state.”

These Military Activity Bags contain games, window art, footballs, coloring books, water bottles, pens and other items that families can utilize when their Guardsman is away.  Support to these Florida National Guard families comes at a particularly important time as these families not only have their Guardsman deployed but also continue to face the COVID-19 challenge.  As a veteran, military spouse, and military mother, Liz Sherr, Clinic Director in Jacksonville, knows what these families face.

“I know all too well the family concerns during these unprecedented times,” said Sherr, “These bags are a gift for these families in acknowledgement of the sacrifices they make on a daily basis.”

The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinics recognize the unique challenges faced by the National Guard, Reserves and their families.  Unlike active duty personnel who have continuous medical benefits, Guardsmen and Reservists must utilize their civilian medical care to maintain their individual physical and mental fitness unless they are in a federal duty status. To support the Florida National Guard, the Florida Cohen Clinics have implemented a Telehealth Program for Guardsmen and their families across the state.

“We appreciate the support of the Florida Cohen Clinics,” said Captain Rick Lenoir, State Family Programs Director, Florida National Guard, “The Cohen Clinics’ mental health services are an important resource for our Guardsmen and their families.”

In addition to these programs, the Cohen Clinics in Florida are continually seeking new and innovative ways in which to enhance mental health support to veterans and military families throughout the state.

“We value our relationship with our Jacksonville Cohen Clinic colleagues,” said Karen Blanchette, Clinic Director in Tampa, “By working collaboratively we can significantly increase our support throughout the state.”

For more information on the Cohen Veterans Network and its clinics- including locations and more- log on to CVN website at cohenveteransnetwork.org or visit the Jacksonville Cohen Clinic at centerstone.org/cohen or the Tampa Cohen Clinic at aspirehealthpartners.com/cohenclinic.

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