Changemakers Convene to Identify Solutions for Military and Veteran FamiliesAugust 04, 2022
On the heels of our 2021 Military Family Support Programming Survey data release, MFAN gathered with our network of advisors as well as leaders from the Armed Forces, White House, Congress, military and veteran service organizations, and private partners in Washington, D.C. to explore themes identified in our latest research.
Our Solutions Summit, held from July 14-15, 2022, welcomed a diverse group of military-connected influencers and subject matter experts from across the nation to develop answers to recurring and emerging pain points experienced by our service members, veterans, and their families. Armed with information from our research findings presented at the event, participants broke out into facilitated track discussions around five central topics — family well-being, food insecurity, housing, telehealth and healthcare, and transition — to develop action-oriented recommendations.
“MFAN’s ability to use research as a launchpad for collaborative solutions is what differentiates us. Not only do we design our research with the intentionality and foresight to make the data actionable, but we experience this military life firsthand and have an intrinsic connection to the community we serve,” said Shannon Razsadin, MFAN’s president and executive director. “We do not want this report to live on a shelf. Through the Solutions Summit, we encourage all supporters of the military community to examine the survey findings in their entirety, ask the important questions, and put pen to paper to develop meaningful, sustainable solutions for our families who serve today and those who will follow.”
In addition to the focus groups, the event included a keynote address from the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy, Mrs. Patricia Barron, and featured remarks from congressional leaders conveying the important role research and collaboration has on policy-making.
In a special message from the First Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden stated, “Our troops love their families with all that they are. We can’t expect to keep our best and brightest if our service members are forced to choose between their love of country and love of family. That’s why giving our military family the support they need to thrive is a matter of national security.” Watch the full video below:
The 2022 Solutions Summit was presented by leading health solutions company CVS Health.
The Summit was also made possible in part by the generosity of Oracle Cerner, Wells Fargo, Wounded Warrior Project, Magellan Federal, Hunt Military Communities, Association of Military Banks of America, Teladoc Health, and USAA.
We recognize that data and stories like those shared at the Solutions Summit elicit emotion and present difficult conversations. Our work is far from over – this is the catalyst for solutions and the start of the next essential dialogue. As a known collaborator in this space, MFAN believes it is our shared responsibility to better serve our military and veteran community.
“Research is foundational to our work here at MFAN. We field surveys within the military community to understand lived experiences and serve as a megaphone on the issues our military families deem most important,” said Gabby L’Esperance, Ph.D., MFAN’s director of research and program evaluation. “But without motivated individuals and organizations interpreting and acting on the information, the data would sit idle. Untethered, agenda-free collaboration is necessary to forge the path ahead for our unique community.”
In the coming months, MFAN will produce topical reports that provide deeper insight into the core themes as well as publish white papers and briefs outlining the outcomes from the Solutions Summit.