Thank you for your support of At Ease USA (AEU) throughout 2017. AEU continues to grow and expand as we work to assist veterans, active duty military members and their families. It is our privilege to serve those who so bravely serve our country and are impacted by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
In 2017, AEU engaged Omaha based Lutz Accounting to conduct a financial audit of our 2016 financial transactions. We are pleased to announce that our overall financial practices are in order and we continue to be good stewards of your financial contributions.
AEU continues to fund three clinics in Nebraska – Bellevue, Grand Island and North Platte in partnership with Lutheran Family Services’ At Ease program. Behavioral health services are also provided in Lincoln. In addition to one-on-one therapy, At Ease includes peer-to-peer group therapy and support sessions both for veterans and their family members. AEU also continues to partner with the Women’s Center for Advancement by funding a program called Healing Warriors. The Healing Warriors program includes crisis intervention, individualized case management, pro bono legal services, therapy, peer support groups, and self-sufficiency services for clients who are connected to the military.
The AEU Board saw a need to reach beyond the brick and mortar clinics to veterans and families located in remote areas of Nebraska. Toward that end, AEU is preparing to launch a new initiative, the Preferred Provider Network. We realize not everyone will travel to one of the clinics, but by training therapists in other population centers, we believe we will extend our reach to build a network of highly trained therapists. AEU will also launch a tele-therapy program in conjunction with this initiative as well as hire a licensed therapist. Fundraising is underway and we have received our first donation to support this exciting new initiative!
The second round of AEU-funded clinical trials by Creighton University was launched in September. We have about 25 people already enrolled in the new study. We are testing the web-based version of attention training to demonstrate its effectiveness in a web-based delivery format and extend its scope to include treatment-resistant veterans, women, and children 9-14 years old with trauma related to community violence. A new paper related to the study has been published at Psychiatry Research Neuroimaging and another soon to be published at Biological Psychology. Although this is a three-year project, we are excited by our progress and the possible treatments that could be offered in the future for those suffering with PTSD.
The AEU Board of Directors added several board members in 2017 including Dr. Mike McGinnis (Retired Brigadier General U.S. Army) CEO of Goodwill Industries; the Honorable Brad Ashford, former U.S. congressman from the 2nd District; Nelson Ildefonso, veteran and business leader with MassMutual Heartland; and Gail Williams, CEO of Williams Counseling and Consulting. AEU has also revamped its logo, website and social media efforts. We now have a platform to promote our programs, share our news on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and communicate more effectively with our supporters. We are excited to have entered the 21st century!
We are excited to announce that Montel Williams will serve as the keynote speaker for the annual luncheon on April 18, 2018. Because of his military service and regard for those who serve, Mr. Williams has a special place in his heart for our servicemen and women. He serves on the board of Fisher House, an organization that provides free or low-cost lodging to veterans and military families receiving treatment at military facilities. Mr. Williams began his professional career in the U.S. Marine Corps and was the first black marine selected to the Naval Academy Prep School. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. While serving in the military, Mr. Williams was the recipient of two Meritorious Service Medals, two Navy Commendation Medals, and two Navy Achievement Medals. AEU board member Dr. Mike McGinnis and entrepreneur and business leader, Doug Wilwerding, have graciously agreed to be the honorary co-chairs of the 2018 luncheon.
For a third year in a row, the Jeff Johnson Memorial Fund made AEU the sole financial beneficiary of their annual golf tournament. They will once again host a golf outing to support AEU on Saturday, June 2, 2018. We are also expanding awareness of AEU and our sponsored services through the first annual Fun Run on June 9, 2018 at Lake Zorinsky. This will be in conjunction with PTSD Awareness Month.
We have certainly grown since our inception, but our goal remains the same: provide access to confidential trauma treatment and therapeutic support to active military, veterans and their loved ones regardless of their ability to pay. We continue to provide services to our military families using cutting-edge technology, best practices and a watchful eye on the overall cost.
Thank you for your confidence in At Ease USA. We are truly grateful for your continued support of our military families.
At Ease USA supports active military, veterans and their families and loved ones with confidential, research-supported, cost-effective treatment for post-traumatic stress (PTSD) and related disorders.
At Ease USA currently serves Eastern and Central Nebraska but plans to serve even more individuals over time.