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Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 55, Issue 4, pp 1206–1214 | Cite as

How Involved are Non-VA Chaplains in Supporting Veterans?

  • Marek S. Kopacz
  • Bruce D. Feldstein
  • Cecille Allman Asekoff
  • Maurice S. Kaprow
  • Rebecca Smith-Coggins
  • Kathy A. Rasmussen
Original Paper

Abstract

In terms of supporting veteran populations, little is known of the experiences of chaplains professionally active outside of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare settings. The present study looks to examine how involved non-VA chaplains are in supporting veterans as well as their familiarity with the VA. An online survey was distributed in a convenience sample of chaplains, of which n = 39 met the inclusion criterion for this study (i.e., no past or present VA affiliation). The results find that most of the non-VA chaplains encounter veteran service users either on a weekly or monthly basis. Though familiar with VA services, non-VA chaplains were not sure of their veteran service users’ VA enrollment status nor did they feel able to adequately advise their veteran service users on VA enrollment. The results suggest that non-VA chaplains actively support veteran populations. Opportunities for enhancing chaplaincy services and VA outreach programs are discussed.

Keywords

Veterans Non-VA Community health 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Dr. Rasmussen was supported by the Office of Academic Affiliations, Advanced Fellowship Program in Mental Illness Research and Treatment, US Department of Veterans Affairs, VISN 2 Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention. Institutional support for this study was provided by the VISN 2 Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention (Canandaigua, NY) and Neshama: Association of Jewish Chaplains (Whippany, NJ). The views expressed are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of Veterans Affairs or the US Government.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflicts of interest

None of the authors voice any conflicts of interest related to the conduct of this research activity.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This survey study received IRB approval from Stanford University and was conducted independent of any external grant funding. Institutional support for this study was provided by the VISN 2 Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention (Canandaigua, NY) and Neshama: Association of Jewish Chaplains (Whippany, NJ).

Informed Consent

As per IRB approval, this study was exempt from collecting written informed consent.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York (outside the USA) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marek S. Kopacz
    • 1
  • Bruce D. Feldstein
    • 2
    • 3
  • Cecille Allman Asekoff
    • 3
  • Maurice S. Kaprow
    • 3
  • Rebecca Smith-Coggins
    • 2
  • Kathy A. Rasmussen
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.US Department of Veterans AffairsVISN 2 Center of Excellence for Suicide PreventionCanandaiguaUSA
  2. 2.Stanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA
  3. 3.Neshama: Association of Jewish ChaplainsWhippanyUSA
  4. 4.University of Rochester Medical CenterRochesterUSA

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