NCHV 2023 Milestones and Objectives in 2024

2023 Milestones

1.Veteran Engagement:  Transition from minimum essential capacity (life support, programs, and processes) to a robust Veteran Engagement team which properly handles increasing scale and complexity.

  • While we have developed excellent infrastructure (village, farm, ranch, market, staff), care for our Patriots grew stronger this year with our Veteran Engagement Engine (VEE) becoming our true intellectual property, focusing on rewiring the brain, reshaping the heart, and restoring the soul. 
  • This VEE progress included systemic missional rotations for Patriot supervision, as well as a new Licensed Professional Counselor to enhance professional onsite mental health care.
  • The NCHV Equine Therapy Program impact was significant, fueled by newly certified equine therapists.
  • All of our Patriots in their third trimester (graduating in March) now have internships to hone skills and identify vocational opportunities after graduation.

2. Patriot Recruiting:  Given that capacity is now available, active recruiting to identify Veterans across America who would benefit from the community life, intentional programs, and comprehensive care provided by NCHV to residential Patriots.

  • We developed a more comprehensive referral process. Our recruiting tripled in 2023, providing us with two simultaneous cohorts of residential Veterans (Patriots).

3. Resourcing:  Expand from our current individual donor base to include greater institutional support from private and public grantmaking organizations (enabled by recently crossing the three-year threshold as a non-profit organization).

  • Along with a number of private sector grants, we were awarded a State of Virginia suicide prevention grant.  We are grateful for the many who have supported our efforts.

4. Media Relations:  Move from a passive to an active approach to media relations to facilitate the Patriot Care, Recruiting, and Valor Farm Resourcing above.

  • This active media approach with social media, radio/TV, and print initiatives garnered greater public visibility resulting in an increase in Veteran referrals and grass roots resourcing.

5. Sustainability:  Accelerate progress to make Valor Farm a sustainable platform which resources operational expenses and facilitates excellent support to Veteran Engagement.

  • Our Healthy Veterans Market opened this past year, serving as a sales conduit of our meat, egg, seasonal produce, and Veteran crafts.
  • Our equine program proved to be a reliable source of income.
  • Although not yet achieving full sustainability, we did achieve profitability across our sustainment initiatives.

Although these strategic objectives are enduring and will remain a focus for 2024, we were privileged to see very tangible progress in each area this past year, as noted above.   You will read more of these details in this newsletter. We are grateful because many of you, our talented staff, and ultimately God’s favor have allowed us to grow and impact lives far beyond our human expectations in only our third year of operations.

2024 Objectives

Strategically, we have reached the “end of the beginning” as we now increase capacity and add function to our holistic model which is producing positive outcomes.   Illustrating our continuing rigor and intentionality, here is our updated seven-year NCHV Master Plan:

Looking forward, here are operational objectives for 2024 which put additional “meat on the bones” as we continue to expand into our national mission with significant reach across America’s Veteran Community.

1. Patriot Cohorts:

  • Enroll five new cohorts (roughly 25 Patriots) and graduate three before year end.
  • Strengthen our aftercare programs for Patriot graduates and their families.

2. Veteran Engagement (VEE) Personnel and Programs: 

  • Grow this team in order to service the increased population of Patriots.
  • Initiate virtual outreach to non-residential Veterans, scaling to broader population of Veterans.

3 Construction: 

  • This will be a major construction year at Valor Farm to expand capacity and capabilities.
  • Initiate and complete Village 2 (25 homes plus Community Center).
  • Complete pre-construction tasks for the Healthy Veteran Lodge Complex, achieving shovel ready status.

4. Development:  Our newly formed Development Team will accelerate our grant proposal process, enhance donor relations, grow our grass roots and high value donor bases, and conduct a large number of productive development events in multiple states.

5. Partnerships: 

  • Align with more organizations who refer Veterans needing the NCHV longer term, wrap around services.
  • Partner with entities with complementary capabilities (such as recreation, employment services, and virtual support groups).
  • Assist emerging Veteran initiatives in KY, TN, and WI who are following the NCHV holistic model.

6 Sustainability (Continuing):

  • Major farming education and production initiative with partner organizations to be best stewards of Valor Farm capabilities while training future Veteran farmers.
  • Enhance productivity of beef and pork production, as well as a startup meat chicken initiative, to provide for the protein needs of Valor Farm residents and our local community.

NOTE:  All of these 2024 operational objectives are directly related to the sole purpose of accomplishing our MISSION of “Returning Healthy Veterans to America” and our VISION of “Reshaping the Nature of Veteran Care in America.”

Our good book the Bible says “Without a VISION the people perish.”  This is true, but the VISION must also be supported by clear and realistic STRATEGIES which are executed with excellence TACTICALLY.  This next year will no doubt be another exciting time to engage with Veterans across America and move toward our vision with strategic intentionality and tactical relevance to each Veteran we encounter.  They are, after all, America’s Untapped National Treasures!  God Bless You and God Bless America’s Veterans.

Robert F. Dees
Major General, U.S. Army, Retired
President and CEO, National Center for Healthy Veterans

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Returning Healthy Veterans to America