The Walmart Foundation has made a grant of $100,000 to launch Building Reintegration from Dreams and Goals to Execution and Success (BRIDGES), an extension of the Women Veterans Network (WoVeN). Supported by the foundation since 2017, WoVeN works to forge connections among women Veterans to decrease isolation and increase well-being. BRIDGES seeks to extend this support to active-duty service women on the verge of separating from service.
An evidence-based initiative that leverages the mentorship of women Veterans in the WoVeN program, BRIDGES will provide support and guidance for women separating from service and navigating the difficulties inherent in reintegration. The program is now being piloted in small-group settings.
“The BRIDGES expansion of our successful WoVeN program,” says program director Tara Galovski, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Women’s Health Sciences Division of the VA’s National Center for PTSD, “fills an important gap in services for transitioning female service members. By welcoming female service members into our strong and supportive community of women Veterans, we hope to mitigate and even prevent risk factors for poor outcomes such as isolation and loneliness that our women Veterans often experience.”
Since 2017, the Walmart Foundation has provided more than $800,000 for WoVeN and BRIDGES. Says Galovski, “The Walmart Foundation has made it possible for us to reach well more than 2,000 women Veterans over the last three years. This support has been instrumental in improving the lives of women Veterans nationwide, particularly during the pandemic and the subsequent increased social isolation.”