It is with great regret that CSSP announces the departure of Susan Kerner-Hoeg from our program. Since 2007, Susan has served as the Director of Military Relations. In that time CSSP has benefited significantly as she tirelessly used her 30 years of experience working with the military, to build and maintain strong partnerships with key constituencies of the program in the Department of Defense, on Capitol Hill, and with military family programs.
Susan Kerner-Hoeg was brought to the program to assist in finding additional revenue streams to sustain our efforts beyond the initial life of the grant. Through her experience and personal contacts in the Washington, D.C. area and the Pentagon she greatly assisted the program in moving toward its intended mission of building a “National Demonstration Program for Citizen Soldier Support” and extending the impact of the program well beyond the borders of North Carolina. She is responsible for generating roughly $800,000 in additional revenue for the program including over $150,000 in additional overhead money paid directly to the University. Her efforts helped train over 700 local, state, regional and national community coordinators and leaders including over 60 Army OneSource (AOS) Regional Community Support Coordinators (RCSC) and Community Support Coordinators (CSC) distributed nationally and whose work directly impacts the lives of thousands of Service Members and their families across the nation. These efforts also directly extend the life of the grant or allow CSSP to use its limited resources against other priorities.
Susan Kerner-Hoeg played a vital role in the program’s Legal initiative in support of the North Carolina National Guards 30th HBCT deployment to Iraq in 2009. At the request of the North Carolina National Guard J-1 and in collaboration with the North Carolina National Guard SJA, the North Carolina Bar Association, the Legal Aid for Military Personnel (LAMP) Committee, and the US Army Reserve JAGs, CSSP created and managed a targeted effort to support the North Carolina National Guard JAG. CSSP identified, recruited, and scheduled family law attorneys throughout the state to provide support to the North Carolina National Guard JAGs as Soldiers went through their final days of deployment processing. Because JAGs do not practice family law and because unresolved family law issues can preclude a Soldier from deploying, this was an important collaboration between the North Carolina National Guard, CSSP, and family law practitioners in NC communities in support of the National Guard.
Susan Kerner-Hoeg’s recent efforts have been in support of the programs unified behavioral health focus by assisting with the development of a national expansion strategy, work on provider survey instruments, evaluation tools, and gathering Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) information. Her continued relationship with Army OneSource (AOS) has leveraged that group of RCSC/CSC’s to actively recruit behavioral health providers to enroll in the CSSP on-line PTSD/TBI training and to www.warwithin.org provider database yielding an unprecedented increase in enrollments and completions with providers now in all 50 states. Here work with the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) has allowed the CSSP Data Center to provide local, state and national policy makers with empirical mapping and spatial analysis about where Service members and their families live (by zip code), deployment information by county, and relationship to necessary Veterans Administration and other services. This helps identify the needs and gaps in services.
Recent criticism of the program fails to acknowledge the great work that Susan has done for the program and that when she was hired, it was a conscious and cost effective decision of the program that she remain in Virginia and commute to Chapel Hill as required. Her responsibilities were principally in the Washington, D.C area and the commuting costs from Chapel Hill to Washington, D.C. would ultimately be much higher.
Her impact on the program has been profound and countless Service Members and their families have benefited from her dedication to the cause of mobilizing community involvement, increasing community capacity in and access to service delivery systems; she will be sorely missed.