Care Coordinators learn to guide warriors through successful transitions

A new group of non-medical care coordinators with responsibility for guiding wounded warriors and their families safely and smoothly to the next phase of their lives are receiving specialized training this week, sponsored by the Office of Wounded Warrior Care and Transition Policy, which oversees the Defense Department’s Recovery Coordination Program.

Recovery Care Coordinators learn to use the Recovery Coordination Program Support Solution.

Gary Foote from the Office of Wounded Warrior Care and Transition Policy teaches new Recovery Care Coordinators how to use the Recovery Coordination Program Support Solution to help recovering Service members and their families make a successful transition to the next phase of their lives.

During this five-day training, Recovery Care Coordinators are introduced to the wide range of services and benefits available to wounded warriors and their families, including WWCTP programs such as the Transition Assistance Program and the National Resource Directory, employment initiatives such as the Department of Labor’s America’s Heroes at Work program, and benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs, such as the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

In addition to these topics, Care Coordinators will receive training on how to identify and address the symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress, both signature injuries of the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Armed with this information, Care Coordinators are able to more quickly and effectively respond to issues in the field.

Throughout the week, Care Coordinators also participate in a series of hands-on training activities that introduce them to the Recovery Coordination Program Support Solution (RCP-SS), an innovative IT tool that reduces the amount of time spent on administrative paperwork and increases the time Care Coordinators can spend face-to-face with recovering Service members and their families.

The RCP-SS provides secure, Web-based access to the Comprehensive Recovery Plan. Care Coordinators use the plan to identify and record  the needs of the Service member and family, and make and track goals designed to move them to the next phase of their lives, whether that be a return to duty or a successful transition to civilian life through additional education and training, meaningful employment, or positive community involvement.

Participating in this week’s training for the first time is Mr. Bob Carrington, the Principal Deputy for Care Coordination in WWCTP.  Mr. Carrington served for 20 years in the U.S. Army as an Infantry Officer, including responsibilities as a platoon leader, company commander and battalion commander. Later, as an Army civilian, Mr. Carrington deployed to Iraq on a detail to the State Department to serve as a Senior Governance Advisor on the Western Anbar Embedded Provincial Reconstruction Team, and to Afghanistan supporting Governance and Development Lines of Operation as a District Support Team Leader. He joined WWCTP and the Recovery Coordination Program in the fall of 2010.

Recovery Care Coordinators wrap up their first day of training.

Yvonne Glover of the Office of Wounded Warrior Care and Transition Policy summarizes the first day of training for new Recovery Care Coordinators. They receive five days of training on topics that are standard across the Defense Department before going on to Service unique training from the Military branch they will support.