Oklahoma Veteran Alliance Advisory Board
Dr. Lanny Endicott, Community Service Council Board of Directors
Dr. Erv Janssen, Community Service Council Board of Directors
Mark Morgan, Director, VA Eastern Oklahoma Health System
Danny Oliver, DAV State Adjutant
John Schueler, Patriot
Megan Lowry, Wounded Warriors of Oklahoma
Joel Kinstel, ODVA Executive Director
Mary Culley, VA Office of Tribal Relations
Oklahoma Veteran Alliance Staff
Rachel Runfola, Director, Veterans Initiatives, Community Service Council
Peter Luitwieler, Program Manager, Oklahoma Veteran Alliance, Community Service Council
Amanda Pickens, Program Outreach, Oklahoma Veteran Alliance, Community Service Council
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Veterans are often unaware of the many services and resources available to them. We act as a bridge to help for veterans. We do this by utilizing Unite Oklahoma, a 360-degree (full wrap-around) referral system using cutting-edge technology that quickly connects veterans to qualified providers and tracks the progress of the care received to ensure our heroes are getting the help they need.
We are actively collaborating with leadership from the Oklahoma Governor’s Challenge, led by the Oklahoma Department of Veteran Affairs, along with Mayor’s Challenges and other statewide agencies to create action steps and programming to reduce veteran suicide. This work is supported by the Department of Veteran Affairs and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
For four years, we have led the Oklahoma Veteran Employer Champions Network and collaborated with Oklahoma employers to recognize and provide training for veteran-ready businesses across Oklahoma. This effort includes sharing best practices with organizations on hiring, retaining, and supporting veteran employees. Learn more about the network here >
OKVA is committed to building stronger communities in support of veterans with Operation Connect. This initiative serves to interface with existing veteran service organizations to provide a positive environment and focus on key areas that can eliminate hurdles to success, such as housing, healthcare, education, employment and legal. This effort is strengthened by our partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Veteran Affairs (ODVA) Governor’s Challenge to establish local Mayor’s Challenges in communities across Oklahoma. Additionally, our continued expansion of the Unite Oklahoma platform to provide a 360-degree referral system across Oklahoma will efficiently connect veterans to resources statewide.
Recently, OKVA created the Oklahoma Assistance Locator (VALOR), a web application that utilizes map based tools for connecting users with community resources across the state of Oklahoma. The locator is designed to provide the user (veteran/agencies) a means of locating and identifying community resources at a statewide level for both individual and agency needs with an intuitive web-based mapping interface. Recognizing the value of this tool, Oklahoma Department of Veteran Affairs has agreed to officially launch VALOR in 2021. Learn more here >
We have played a critical role with several partners in developing a statewide strategic process to ensure incarcerated veterans pending release have housing, employment and other vital resources secure. This initiative, Veteran Avoidance Recovery Redeployment Program (VARRP), will increase the success rate for those being released to reintegrate into their communities and avoid recidivism. We also work with Tulsa County Veterans Treatment Court to help justice-involved veterans avoid prison through a therapeutic alternative to incarceration.
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs,
Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs,
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development