Connecting Military & Veteran Families with Community Resources

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While serving as an Air Traffic Controller with the Marine Corps in Desert Storm, Aaron Harper never imagined the role he would later play in supporting military and veteran families in the US. After medically retiring from the Marines, Harper maintained his connections with North Carolina military and veteran organizations. Through various roles, he began to address a need for improved coordination of resource-sharing and promotion of veteran events and programs. This passion led to a career with Atrium Health, where Harper has expanded his reach throughout the Carolinas. It’s been 30 years since his first tour in Kuwait, and Harper, a fifth-generation Marine Corps war veteran, continues to serve through support of Atrium Health’s diverse impact strategies and initiatives. Central to these efforts is The Community Resource Hub.

Aaron Harper. Photo Credit: Charlotte AHEC.

In 2017, Atrium Health launched The Community Resource Hub, an online search and referral platform powered by Aunt Bertha. This free site is accessible to the general public and offers more than 1,000 resources for every county across the nation. Within Atrium Health’s coverage area — North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia — there are more than 800 programs specifically for active duty, National Guard, and veteran community members. Individuals have access to a comprehensive array of programs, such as mental health, employment, food, housing, legal and financial aid services, among others.

Support for Nonprofits 

Nonprofits can use The Community Resource Hub to refer people they’re helping to other programs. The platform adheres to the highest privacy and security standards and regulations through HIPAA Compliance and HITRUST Certification. Each referral has an individual consent so that clients always know how and with whom their information is shared. Clients can apply personal filters — active duty, national guard, veterans, etc. — to tailor search results, self-refer to programs, and track the status of their own referrals.

Agencies can also access a free suite of intake tools and impact reports, communicate with one another on referrals, and access a host of features to streamline efforts and improve service coordination — all within the platform. The site also offers a variety of impact reports agencies can use to assess their work; these reports can be shared with funders and boards to demonstrate impact and reach. For example, veteran-serving organizations can see how frequently and in what capacity people are interacting with their listing, ZIP Codes with the most searches, and customized outcome data for their programs.

Monthly trainings and local support are always available to help each agency leverage their free suite of tools for maximum impact.

Connecting the Carolinas

Harper is excited by the opportunities The Community Resource Hub has provided and its nationwide reach is an added benefit, particularly for military families on the move. As the former manager of Military and Veteran Affairs and current Human Resources strategic business partner, he is honored to continue leading and advising Atrium Health’s military-veteran strategy along the way. Harper also serves as elected president of VetCarolinas, where he helps organizations connect with each other and be of best service for our military members, veterans, their families, and communities in general.

Atrium Health has a long-standing commitment to both internal and external military and veteran communities. In 2016, the U.S. Department of Defense awarded Atrium Health, formerly known as Carolinas HealthCare System, a Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the highest recognition given by the department to employers for their support of employees who serve in the National Guard or Reserves. They have since received multiple awards in recognition of their continued dedication.

A Commitment to Our Nation

Thanks to collaborations with customers like Atrium Health, Aunt Bertha has reached 1,000,000 searches in North Carolina, providing access to nearly 10,000 programs across the state since 2015. As the nation’s largest social care network, we are proud to partner with more than 350 customers and 75,000 social service providers throughout the US. We are committed to ensuring that our veterans, who have served with honor, can connect with the programs that serve them, with dignity and ease.

Three generations of Marines (From left to right: Sgt Rick LeFebvre, Cpl Frances Cole Prescott, Sgt Cecil Cole and Sgt Aaron Harper), Photo Credit: Jack Cole.

Connect with Us

For more information about our network, trainings, and free tools for Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), visit our page for Nonprofits or contact [email protected] to connect with local support in any state across the country!

By the way, who’s Aunt Bertha?

Aunt Bertha is the leading referral platform for social services in America, serving the biggest cities and smallest towns. We connect people seeking help and the verified social care providers that serve them, with dignity and ease. We make it easy for people to find social services in their communities, for nonprofits to coordinate their efforts, and for organizations to integrate social care into the work they already do. We serve millions of users and our platform is used in a wide range of industries including education, government, housing, and healthcare.

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