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Peak Military Care Network guides clients to critical services

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PMCN stands ready to guide military members to aid. - COURTESY PEAK MILITARY CARE NETWORK
  • Courtesy Peak Military Care Network
  • PMCN stands ready to guide military members to aid.

When members of the military need expanded assistance, it can be difficult for them to find exactly what they need. Since 2004, Peak Military Care Network (PMCN; pmcn.org) has endeavored to change that, creating a centralized hub of support that guides those seeking answers to the proper services and information.

"Because there are so many resources in this community," says Kate Hatten, Peak's president and CEO, "people are either overwhelmed and don't know where to start, or they just don't know that help is even available."

PMCN's umbrella of services includes: advocacy, crisis intervention, behavioral health, housing assistance, and health and employment assistance. Hatten notes that they're available to any branch, any service, any era of service and any discharge status. Family members are also encompassed in PMCN's network, which boasts an expansive list of partners ready to help.

"We've cultivated relationships with our local VA, all five installations and the city to make sure that we can fill the gaps that they may be unable to fill," says Amanda Nurmi, PMCN's community outreach coordinator.

PMCN tries to be as thorough as possible in the services they offer, often discovering other challenges when a client comes in. For example, an individual may connect seeking housing assistance, and then mention they could also use help in caring for an aging parent. Hatten says if PMCN doesn't have the right answer, they'll work to connect individuals with someone who does.

I experienced that myself when I offhandedly mentioned my military spouse's position as the company commander of a reserve unit in Nevada, and his desire to find more resources to support struggling soldiers there. Hatten said she'd see if she could help, and within five hours of our chat, I received an email from her with a list of organizations there and a note that she would ask around for even more info.

The rest of PMCN's small-but-mighty team shows equal sincerity and draws on their own military experience to lead clients to the right services. Of the five full-time staff members who provide guidance, four have a connection to the military. Hatten's husband served in the Air Force, operations director Jennifer Wilson graduated from West Point and the organization's two "generalist navigators" consist of Kelli Kisker, who is an Army spouse, and Christian Nunez, a retired Army staff sergeant.

PMCN successes include helping a dual military family find resources for the spouse struggling with PTSD; connecting a family moving from South Korea to Colorado Springs with info; and helping an out-of-state military mom find her struggling veteran son.

"We were able to work through our vast network to find this mom's son and connect him with the help he needed," says Hatten. "She told us that if she had not found the Peak Military Care Network, her son would be dead. That is the power of what we are able to do."

— Bridgett Harris

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