National Military Family Association: Supporting Military Spouses Pursuing Health Care Careers

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There is a strong need in the United States for a greater number of health care providers who are sensitive to the unique health needs of the military community. That's why, together with National Military Family Association (NMFA), United Health Foundation is supporting military spouses who are pursuing health care careers with a $125,000 partnership grant.

By reinvesting in this future health workforce, this partnership grant enables NMFA to advance the careers and ease the financial burdens of military spouses looking to enter the mental health profession.  United Health Foundation scholarship recipient Erin Marden, a mental health counseling candidate, noted that the funds helped her offset some hurdles of the military lifestyle.

"It's a challenge for spouses to continue their education or a career while dealing with moving, deployments and reintegration," said Marden.  "We moved from one small town to an even smaller, more rural area. It took months to find a job in an otherwise high-demand field, and when I did, I had to complete additional training and certification since the state I moved from had different licensing requirements. This funding reduced the financial burden created by some of the requirements I needed to become a counselor."

Marden expressed excitement about the ripple effect these scholarships, and NMFA and United Health Foundation's support, have in the military and health care communities. She added: "I've seen service members acquire disabilities, family members struggle to adjust, and children that can benefit from counseling during deployments and while adjusting to frequent moves and new schools. It's fulfilling to be a part of the health care industry and the healing process. NMFA and United Health Foundation invested in me, and I'm doing my absolute best to pay it as far forward as I can."

(May 2015)