Author

Daniel Piston

Bound Volume Number

Volume V

Document Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-2016

Capstone Advisor

Nicholas Armstrong

Capstone Major

Health and Wellness

Capstone College

Education

Audio/Visual Component

no

Keywords

AmericaServes, the Institute for Veterans and Military Families

Capstone Prize Winner

no

Won Capstone Funding

no

Honors Categories

Professional

Subject Categories

Education

Abstract

The purpose of this project was to author a historical narrative of a community engagement program, AmericaServes, implemented by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families. AmericaServes aids veterans, service members, and their families in navigating through the maze of non-profit and public services offered to them. This program uses a model called Collective Impact (Kania & Kramer, Collective Impact, 2011) as its fundamental principal. Since its inception, there has not yet been a proper record chronicling the history of program, the key players involved, and lessons learned from challenges faced during each stage of its evolution.

To conduct this project, qualitative and quantitative information was collected from various sources. First, interviews were used as primary sources of information for documenting each stage of the initiative, as well as the challenges, and lessons learned. Individuals chosen for the interviews were IVMF, Accenture, and Unite US staff. Additionally, staff members from the coordination centers in Charlotte, NC, and Pittsburgh, PA were interviewed. Background information was collected from news releases from each organization, and information already collected and used by the IVMF. Information on collective impact, and veteran health and wellness were collected from journal and other published papers from experts in the field.

From the data collected, the story of AmericaServes Coordinated Network was separated into three case studies for the three initial cities in the pilot program: NYServes in New York City, NY; NCServes in Charlotte, NC; PAServes in Pittsburgh, PA. From the cross case analysis my recommendations for the AmericaServes staff and for the communities were as follows:

AmericaServes Staff:

1) Treat each community with a fresh lens.

2) Actively engage service providers for community feedback.

3) Ensure communication and education to all levers of the service providers.

AmericaServes Communities:

1) The coordination center needs to set the example for the community.

2) Educate all levels of your organization.

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