The Bob Woodruff Foundation held its annual Spring Reception in our nation’s capitol, at the St. Regis Hotel, April 27. Hosted by foundation cofounder Lee Woodruff, in partnership with the Greater Washington Board of Trade, the event brought leaders together from both sides of the aisle to focus on the needs of our military and its veterans.
Secretary of Veterans Affairs David J. Shulkin was the featured speaker and spoke of his vision for improving services at the nation’s largest health care provider, the importance of public private partnerships, and veteran mental health issues.
“Twenty veterans a day are taking their lives. It’s a national tragedy and it’s something I worry about more than anything, because we just don’t know all the answers,” said Shulkin, who elaborated that “suicide is everybody’s business.”
Shulkin went on to say that VA is fully committed to finding effective solutions and touted recent improvements to the Veterans Crisis Line and using predictive tools that no one else in the country is using to identify those most at risk. He also credited the need to strengthen relationships with organizations like the Bob Woodruff Foundation to complement their work, stating that the majority who take their own life do not get their care from the VA system; they are out in the community and [the VA] needs to connect with them.”
Guests also learned more about the Bob Woodruff Foundation and its efforts to find, fund and shape innovative programs that empower impacted veterans, service members and their families. Attendees included White House senior staff, members of Congress, corporate leaders and high-ranking military officials.
“This is one of our favorite evenings of the year because it’s an opportunity to create connections, leading to partnerships, that address the emerging needs of impacted veterans and families,” said Anne Marie Dougherty, executive director of the Bob Woodruff Foundation.
An example of this, Lee Woodruff announced plans to help address our country’s shortage of mental health providers. According to Woodruff, the best evidence-based care available for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is through the VA; however, many veterans may seek care through private clinicians.
Closing the night, Martha Raddatz, Bob Woodruff Foundation board member and chief global affairs correspondent for ABC News, showed a trailer for the upcoming National Geographic mini-series “The Long Road Home,” based upon the true story of heroism and survival of members of the Army’s First Cavalry Division, after being ambushed in Sadr City, Iraq on April 4, 2004. The series is the screen adaptation of Raddatz’s book of the same title.
To learn more about the Bob Woodruff Foundation and its efforts to meet the needs of today’s veterans and their families, visit www.BobWoodruffFoundation.org.
About the Bob Woodruff Foundation
The Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) was founded in 2006 after reporter Bob Woodruff was hit by a roadside bomb while covering the war in Iraq. Since then, the Bob Woodruff Foundation has led an enduring call to action for people to stand up for heroes and meet the emerging and long-term needs of today’s veterans. To date, BWF has invested more than $38 million to find, fund and shape programs that have empowered more than 2.5 million impacted veterans, service members and their families. For more information, please visit bobwoodrufffoundation.org or follow us on Twitter at @Stand4Heroes.