The Hands & Hears in Action program began in 2013, with a pursuit to help veterans and the veteran-service organization, Clear Path for Veterans. Today it encompasses a full curriculum of CE classes designed to support therapists who want to volunteer, who see occasional veteran clients in private practice, or who want to support VA referrals. The material and content includes recommendations and instruction from guest VA instructors and truly embraces a Team-Based Care model. The education design for this unusual continuing education program institutes an authentic learning component, fostering real-world experiences for students as well as the participation of VA providers and clinicians in classes. As a result of this design, from the years 2013-2019 our program provided:
- 814 U.S. Veterans, U.S. Active Duty, and Canadian Active Duty Military personnel.
- Over $60,000 in pro-bono massage therapy services on site at Clear Path for Veterans.
- An additional $5,000 + in coordinator services to Clear Path.
- Referrals to the VA for community care placements. As of Summer 2019, over 3,000 Veterans were placed for outpatient care with massage therapists in our community, most with students from our program.
- Complementary education opportunities, free of class registrations and class fees, to Veteran massage therapists through scholarship or the Warrior Hands annual training.
- We work with educational partners such as AMTA NY, Upstate Medical, AMTA Wisconsin, and NCBTMB.
- Educational content supported by high-level medical professional advisement, research, and Clear Path clinical experience.
- Depending on class location, instruction provided primarily by Nicole Miller, M.S., L.M.T. and guest instructions including Syracuse VA staff, Wisconsin VA staff, Anthony Anderson of Veterans Trek, and Veteran guest speakers.