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Persistence, Hope & Change

By Jennifer DeLucia, Senior Director, Community Services, IVMF

Leaving San Antonio more grateful than ever for our AmericaServes team including my IVMF colleagues and our community partners across the nation who have committed to adopting a new way of doing business when it comes to connecting service members, veterans and their families to care. Our activities this week reminded me of how complex the work we do is and how significant it is to the health of our communities.

Yesterday there were three stories shared by veterans and family members who have been served by our first AmericaServes network in the state of Texas – TXServes-San Antonio. Each person emphasized how the network, via the coordination center and its providers, restored a sense of hope by meeting their needs in a timely, efficient and effective way. During my stay I also participated in a full-day workshop with my team, unpacking our work together and thinking about how we can better serve our community partners and providers. We reflected on the role of the change agent and characteristics that support large-scale systems change – qualities that are a part of our work across the nation day in and day out.

As change agents, my teammates and our community partners work together to distribute power, mobilize community groups and coalitions, exercise patience to remain committed for extended periods of time, and constantly assess our strategies. It is an art and it involves long-term dedication, persistence and investment from all involved. We are working to change a system and that is not a small task. When we listen to the testimonials of people served it reinforces for us, as providers and as communities, how this incredible effort is making a significant impact on how we are meeting the needs of our military-connected community members. In these moments our hope is strengthened, that if collectively we stay focused on what matters the most – making a difference in the lives of people who served – that big change is possible. Our in-person gatherings are an opportunity for us to all see it in action.

The three stories we heard this week are 3 of the over 600 that have been served by TXServes – San Antonio in the networks first 6 months of operation. It is amazing work and I am grateful to be a part of it – thank you to all of our community partners in Texas and to my team for an inspiring week.

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