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Local women give caring boost to U’s National Center for Veterans Studies.

By Brooke Adams, communications specialist, University Marketing and Communications

Six Utah veterans will have the opportunity to participate in the R&R Program offered by the U’s National Center for Veterans Studies thanks to a grassroots charitable organization.

Craig Bryan, director of the National Center for Veterans Studies, receives donation from 100 Women Who Care Salt Lake City.

The Salt Lake City chapter of 100 Women Who Care raised approximately $14,000 at its December meeting and voted to donate it to the center.

“We love anything that supports families and helps our veterans,” said Lisa Evans, chapter founder. “This is the kind of program we look for, one that makes a difference in an individual’s life.”

The center, located within the College for Social and Behavioral Science, is focused on research, education, outreach and advocacy that helps improve the lives of veterans. The center leads the nation in suicide prevention and PTSD research and treatment. The center has developed and tested the only scientifically supported methods to prevent suicidal behavior among veterans, resulting in a reduction in such behavior of up to 75 percent compared to other treatments.

Craig J. Bryan, a clinical psychologist and associate professor in the Department of Psychology, is the center’s executive director.

“Dr. Bryan has such a great reputation and so many people are already donating their services and funds, we knew our money would be well used,” Evans said.

Evans started 100 Women Who Care Salt Lake City in 2015. The chapter meets quarterly to select one of three nominated nonprofits to support with a $100 donation from each of its 140 members.

The nominations are made by members, who focus on opportunities to make a direct impact on the people served by local nonprofits. Beneficiaries of its “rapid response” donations have included a refugee boy scout troop, Harvest of Hope, the Utah Independent Living Center and The Other Side Academy. Progrexion, a credit report repair company, donates $100 to the two runners-up each quarter.

Anastasia Najarian, outreach manager for the National Center for Veterans Studies, is a member of 100 Women Who Care Salt Lake City and nominated the R&R Program.

The program provides an intensive two-week treatment that combines individual cognitive processing therapy, group therapy and recreational therapy for service members and veterans with PTSD.

“The funds will be used for direct care to the veterans,” Najarian said.

The National Ability Center in Park City, which partners with the center to provide the R&R Program, has agreed to cover part of the cost of any veterans who attend. Bryan also is donating his services.