Concordia College’s student veterans will be among the first to access a transformative U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs wellness initiative right on their own campus. The College has been chosen as the inaugural program to partner with the James J. Peters VA Medical Center in providing monthly Whole Health classes.
The VA-wide initiative empowers veterans to take greater control over their lives and health through using their life meaning, purpose and aspirations to create personalized goals and strategies.
Concordia College has in the last two years made a concerted effort to recruit veteran students and surround them with the support systems often needed in the transition from military to civilian student life. Concordia’s Director of Military and Veteran Affairs, Viviana DeCohen, is a U.S. Marine veteran with a deep understanding of veterans’ needs. DeCohen has spent time transporting Concordia students back and forth to classes and services at the Bronx-based VA Medical Center. The Center’s Director, Margaret B. Caplan, acknowledged that the College was chosen for this partnership “because of its strong commitment to improve the lives and health of veteran students.”
Lauren Byma, who serves the James J. Peters VA Medical Center as a Whole Health Champion and Creative Arts Therapist, said: “We are pleased to offer Whole Health classes to Concordia College, an institution that has prioritized and demonstrated a strong commitment to the education and advancement of their veteran students. Whole Health empowers and equips veterans with skills to take charge of their health and well-being, help the veteran identify the reasons they want their health, and create personalized, proactive strategies for meeting their goals.”