BUFFALO, N.Y. – A collaboration between the University at
Buffalo’s School of Social Work and School of Nursing will
serve local veterans and families by teaching social workers and
nurses how they can better care for and respond to veterans’
The program – “Joining Forces-UB” –
brings to UB the national “Joining Forces” initiative
launched by First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden in 2010. The
purpose of the national program is to mobilize all sectors of
society to give the country’s service members, veterans and
their families the opportunities and support they deserve.
UB’s version of this national initiative aims to improve
health and mental health outcomes for veterans and military
families by training graduate social work and nursing students to
work effectively with these individuals. The project includes
educational programs in both the Master of Social Work (MSW) and
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs.
"One critical issue that our Joining Forces-UB educational
program is aimed at addressing is to give social workers and nurses
the background and skills necessary to work with veterans and
military families in our community in a way that is highly
sensitive to military culture and experience," says Lisa Butler,
PhD, principal investigator for Joining Forces-UB and associate
professor in the School of Social Work.
“As Jose Narosky points out, 'In war, there are no
unwounded soldiers,’ ” says Susan Bruce, PhD,
co-principal investigator of Joining Forces-UB and clinical
associate professor in the School of Nursing. “With the
return of so many veterans to our community, the timing of our
advanced health care provider training is ideal.”
The Joining Forces-UB project has just launched a website to
showcase the project’s goals and accomplishments, and connect
the academic and general communities with the work of the project.
The website launched July 23 and provides details about the
educational and research goals and achievements of the project.
Visit the site at: www.buffalo.edu/joiningforces-ub.
The national and local Joining Forces initiative hopes to impact
the lives of more than 22 million veterans in the U.S., the 900,000
veterans in New York State and approximately 112,000 veterans in
the five Western New York counties.
Originally named “Joining Forces: The UB Partnership for
Excellence in Veteran Care,” the project has received initial
support from the 3E Fund through the UB Office of the
Provost’s from February 2013 through June 2015. The website
also provides opportunities for people to get involved and to
provide financial support to sustain this important effort.
UB has already logged several concrete achievements, following
its overall vision to advance the knowledge, skills and abilities
of UB social work and nursing students and community practitioners
to better address the needs of veterans and military families.
Details about these achievements are available on the
In addition to continuing its training for graduate social work
and nursing students, the Joining Forces-UB project plans to extend
its training to professionals already working in the field, hire
faculty within each school with veteran-specific research
interests, publicize the project through professional and community
presentations, and develop and implement veteran and military
For more information on the Joining Forces-UB activities,
contact the Project Manager, Katie McClain-Meeder at email@example.com or
716-829-5864 or visit the website www.buffalo.edu/joiningforces-ub.