Caregiver Coaching Program to Support Military Families Affected by Hurricane Harvey
Bob Woodruff Foundation and Qatar Harvey Fund Support Expansion of Operation Family Caregiver into Texas Gulf Coast
October 16, 2019 – AMERICUS, GA – The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving (RCI) announced today that its signature military caregiving program, Operation Family Caregiver (OFC), will serve military families in the Gulf Coast of Texas, an area still recovering from the impact of Hurricane Harvey, which struck with astounding force in August 2017. OFC provides support to the families of returning service members and veterans. The expansion to this area of the country is supported by a grant awarded by the Bob Woodruff Foundation, which has partnered with the Qatar Harvey Fund to support veterans affected by Hurricane Harvey.
“The Bob Woodruff Foundation has been a committed and powerful partner,” said RCI’s executive director Dr. Jennifer Olsen, “With their continual support, we have expanded our support to military caregivers. We are so pleased to benefit from the foundation’s partnership with the Qatar Harvey Fund and to be able to explore how OFC can help caregivers whose lives have been upended not only by the challenge of caring for a loved one but magnified by a natural disaster.”
The Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) has been an ongoing supporter of OFC and enabled the program’s expansion into the state of Washington in 2017. With this latest grant, BWF and the Qatar Harvey Fund allow OFC to explore further how additional stressors such as national disasters, can exacerbate the challenges faced by military families, and how support systems like OFC can help.
Since its launch in 2013, OFC has helped more than 1,000 families across the country. After completing the OFC program, caregivers are less depressed and more satisfied with their lives, have fewer health complaints, and are generally more prepared to take care of their families. Caregivers have also reported statistically significant reductions in anxiety among children in the household after completion of the program.A research partnership that will help RCI determine how to adapt the program specifically to ALS. RCI will fund a graduate fellow to do caregiver specific research on the ALS population.