After two decades of war, the United States is at a turning point: the recent withdrawal from Afghanistan marks a critical moment for reflection nationally and in Southern California. Many veterans suffer from mental and physical health-related issues. Data shows that 50% of veterans report significant physical health conditions that impair their daily functioning, with growing numbers enrolling in VA disability services. Five in 10 reports a critical issue for which they are not receiving care. One in 10 have considered suicide. Join special guest Dr. Nathan Graeser, SCG’s Veteran Issues Consultant, as we explore personal stories and an overview of the current challenges facing veterans and their families. As both a chaplain and a social worker, Graeser will explore current opportunities for philanthropy's role in leading a new way forward to support veterans' long-term health in the years ahead. Attendees will also have a chance to share updates, ask questions to identify needs, and support efforts in our region.
About Health Funders Group
The SCG Health Funders Group convenes multiple times a year to explore emerging issues in healthcare and health policy through an intersectional approach. The group hosts topic-based and peer-to-peer learning sessions. These facilitated sessions will provide a forum for updates on critical issues, highlights of promising programs and opportunities for collaboration.
About the Veteran Funders Group
The Veteran Funders Group focuses on members’ response efforts in relation to veterans and military families, trends and challenges our nonprofit partners are facing, and opportunities for philanthropy to take a strategic role in our region’s veteran space in the months and years to come. Meetings are led by SCGs Veteran Issues Consultant – Nate Graeser.
Program Officer, The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation
The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation improves the well-being of the residents of Los Angeles County through responsive grantmaking in human services, civic and cultural, education, and health. Prior to joining the Foundation as a Program Officer in 2019, Romesh spent more than 12 years working in the public health sector and has engaged in extensive public grantmaking activities with a variety of partners, including the CDC, State Public Health Department, and First 5 LA. Romesh most recently worked at the Pasadena Public Health Department and previously held positions with the County Health Departments in LA and San Bernardino. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sciences from UC Berkeley and a master’s degree in Public Health from Loma Linda University.
Chief Programs & Operations Officer, The Carl & Roberta Deutsch Foundation
Jacqueline Chun has dedicated over 20 years to the non-profit sector, seeking to make positive changes that improve the health and well-being of all, especially those who have been traditionally disadvantaged and underserved. Jacqueline has held positions in the philanthropic and non-profit sectors and is currently the Chief Programs & Operations Officer at The Carl & Roberta Deutsch Foundation. She has been with the Deutsch Foundation for nearly 15 years and is responsible for managing the Foundation’s strategic grantmaking and daily operations. Jacqueline regularly participates in strategic public private partnership committees, all of which strive to advance healthier communities, achieve equitable access to education, housing, and services, and promote community-driven solutions. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and son.
Nathan Graeser is both a Social Worker and an Army Chaplain in the California National Guard. He is a national expert on policies and programs for supporting service members transitioning out of the military. He has been featured on NPR, ABC, and numerous other media outlets. A tireless advocate for veteran and military families, he has lead multiple Veteran initiatives in Los Angeles including the Los Angeles Veterans Collaborative. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, he has also counseled hundreds on the intersection between transition, spirituality, and military culture, building better community policies for veterans who return home from war. He obtained a Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary, a Masters in Social Work, and a Doctorate in Social Work from the University of Southern California. He serves on numerous local and national boards and just returned from a deployment with an Infantry Brigade in December 2018. He lives in Highland Park in an eco-friendly house with chickens, bees, and three small humans ages five, three, and one. His rock star wife, Rachel, makes it all possible.
President and Chief Operating Officer, UniHealth Foundation
Established in 1998, UniHealth Foundation is an independent private health care foundation committed to being a pace-setter in health philanthropy, while provoking and sustaining changes that positively impact health outcomes. Jennifer Vanore joined UniHealth Foundation in 2015, having previously served as Program Manager for The California Endowment’s Center for Healthy Communities. Jen received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, where her research focused on the social, economic and political development of the hospital industry in Los Angeles County. Jen is responsible for overseeing the nearly $15 million in annual grantmaking and the day-to-day functions of the Foundation. She also works closely with the Board to support innovative new programs and services to improve population and community health outcomes throughout Southern California. Jen currently sits on the Los Angeles Regional Homeless Advisory Council and serves on the Commission of Recreation and Parks for the City of Pasadena.