Data Don’t Lie: The Impact of MFAN’s Research

August 24, 2022

At MFAN, we believe the best way to make an impact is to support military families where they truly need it. To do this, we rely on our research.


On July 14, 2022, we released the findings from our biennial survey, the Military Family Support Programming Survey, hearing from thousands of military family members throughout all phases of their military journey. The results from this research illuminated the challenges facing our nation’s service members, veterans, and their families.


This provides us with the opportunity to act. In addition to curating resources and programming, we share this data with government officials, military leadership, stakeholders, and fellow military and veteran service organizations to arm them with the information needed to guide their work.


We are honored to be the trusted voice of the modern military family – a responsibility we do not take lightly. Recently, we’ve had the great privilege of sharing our research findings on topics like housing, food security, and family well-being at conferences and gatherings around the country.


Here’s what we’ve been up to since our data release:



On July 18-19, MFAN President and Executive Director Shannon Razsadin and Director of Research and Program Evaluation Gabby L’Esperance, Ph.D. joined fellow MSOs and VSOs at the Military Child Education Coalition’s annual convention in Washington, D.C.


Shannon participated as a panelist on “Serving Those Who Serve: What’s Next with MSO/VSO Nonprofit CEOs” with executives and founders from fellow nonprofits to share our mission, research, and the importance of collaboration.


Dr. L’Esperance served on a panel titled “Studying the MilKid Experience: Conversations with Researchers.” She outlined how our research paints the picture of a full military family experience, including the experiences of children of those who serve. Gabby provided background on our research methodology and how research can be used to create systems of support for the youngest members of our military community.

Left to right: Dr. Gabby L’Esperance and Shannon Razsadin at the MCEC Global Summit.

VA / SAMSHA innovations conference

The Innovations Conference, held on August 1-3 in Alexandria, Virginia, centered around suicide prevention among service members, veterans, and their families. As a panelist, Dr. L’Esperance discussed social determinants of health for veterans, retirees, and their families using the data from our 2021 Military Family Support Programming Survey.


To learn more, view the VA/SAMHSA Governor’s and Mayor’s Challenge program.



Hosted by co-chairs of the Congressional Military Family Caucus, U.S. Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA05) and Sanford Bishop, Jr. (D-GA02), this annual summit was held at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Washington on Wednesday, August 17. This year’s theme was “Military Families Are Mission Critical.”


Dr. Shanna Smith, MFAN’s associate director of research, served on two economic security panels – housing and food security – to share our latest research findings and what we’re hearing from our network. From our years of experience on these topics, Dr. Smith was able to create a roadmap of how these challenges have evolved over time for our military community.

Dr. Shanna Smith (far right) addresses a crowd at the 2022 Military Family Summit.

in other news…

We’re grateful to use our research to bring military families’ stories to the forefront. In addition to the events our team has been able to partake in, our research has been elevated in a number of news stories.


To learn more about MFAN’s research, the challenges facing military families, and how you can provide support, visit our media page.

About the Author

Alexandra Meyers

Associate Director of Communications
As Associate Director of Communications, Alex is responsible for MFAN’s creative portfolio, including storytelling, content creation, digital …
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