Equest Chosen to Pioneer a National Wellness and Therapeutic Recreation Network for Veterans

9/7/17

R4 Alliance, a national association of integrative wellness and therapeutic recreation providers, has selected Equest Hooves for Heroes program as one of ten pioneering organizations to help launch the R4 Coordinated Care Network. The first of its kind, the network, created by R4 Alliance in partnership with technology firm Unite Us, will digitally connect recreational, therapeutic, and rehabilitation organizations across the nation to enable service members, Veterans, and their families to more easily access integrative wellness services.

Through equine-assisted activities and therapies, Equest’s Hooves for Heroes program, the fastest growing program at Equest, helps veterans and their families transition from military to civilian life and excel as community members, neighbors, and civic leaders. The individually tailored program includes mental health counseling, physical and occupational therapy, therapeutic horsemanship, therapeutic carriage driving and more. In six short years, Equest’s Hooves for Heroes has helped more than 600 veterans and military family members at no cost, thanks to generous grant funding, charitable donations, and underwriting.

 “One of the biggest problems in the veteran community is that veterans are in need of services but don’t know how to find them,” explains Susannah Denney, Equest Veteran’s Coordinator. “We are honored to be one of the pioneering providers for this network and to continue to expand our equine-facilitated activities and therapies program for Veterans and their families in need.”

The Network launched across 7 states through the efforts of ten pioneer providers: Equest, Give an Hour, Higher Ground Sun Valley, paws4people Foundation, Pikes Peak Therapeutic Riding Center, Project Healing Waters, Project Sanctuary, Team River Runner, World T.E.A.M. Sports, and Vets4Warriors. After this pilot program, the goal is for the R4 Coordinated Care Network to expand and include the other R4 Alliance member organizations.

Bert Gillette, Director of Operations for the R4 Alliance, commented on this initiative, “The launch of this network is a huge step forward for R4 and the Veteran communities we serve. The network will enable Veterans and their families to access a variety of services that they may not have had access to before and continue our mission of optimizing wellness for our military family through nature and recreation.”

The partnership between R4 Alliance and Unite Us is an extension of the work that both organizations are doing to bridge the gaps in the fragmented health and human service landscape. R4 Alliance currently has more than 80 member organizations across the US with a focus on recreation and integrative wellness services. Unite Us has created a cloud-based software that powers coordinated care networks in 24 communities across 14 states.

“We are proud to partner with R4 Alliance, and their partners, as our missions are aligned to improve health and wellbeing for those in need. We are excited to digitally connect their growing network of organizations who passionately serve our Military Families in different, innovative ways,” said Dan Brillman, Unite Us CEO.

When service providers collaborate, the total health journey of an individual becomes paramount. Their Social Determinants of Health - factors like financial or educational status, geographic location, or access to transportation - are positively influenced when providers are equipped to work together. The R4 Coordinated Care Network will do just that - bring together established and successful organizations and capitalize on their efforts through national collaboration. To learn more, check out http://r4alliance.org/ and https://www.uniteus.com/

About Equest

Founded in 1981, Equest provides equine facilitated activities, therapies and counseling to children and adults with physical, cognitive, sensory, coping and learning disabilities and veterans with adjustment challenges. The services provided include physical and occupational therapy, equine facilitated counseling and learning, therapeutic carriage driving, therapeutic horsemanship and competition. With the help of 36 therapy horses, 10 instructors, four therapists, two counselors, and 400 volunteers, lives are changed on a daily basis for more than 3,000 clients served annually. Equest was the first PATH International Premier Accredited Center in Texas and remains one of the largest in the country. Equest offers an engaging volunteer program that provides 40,000 hours of direct program service opportunities each year. Equest was named “2015 Non-Profit of the Year” by CNM Connect. www.equest.org

About R4 Alliance

R4 Alliance membership provides programs of excellence that support recreation and specialized support services for Veterans, service members, and military families. This allows R4 to have an impact across the Veteran community, optimize wellness through nature and recreation, and ensure networking of a variety of skills to address Veteran needs.

About Unite Us

Unite Us is a veteran-owned technology company that builds coordinated care networks of health and human service providers that support individuals by integrating all social determinants of health. The Unite Us platform displaces legacy resource directories and single direction referrals by digitally inter-connecting health and community providers together to meet every individual’s holistic needs. This transformative approach enables providers to seamlessly work together, track clients through their total health journey, and report tangible outcomes across the full range of services in a cohesive and collaborative ecosystem.

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