Continuing to scale its innovative and effective approach to mental health and brain injury care for Veterans, Service Members and their Families, Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Program officially opened the doors to its National Center of Excellence and cut the ceremonial ribbon for its new location in the Charlestown Navy Yard on September 28th. This Center will double Home Base’s capacity, delivering a broad range of key innovations to its design, providing the space and resources needed to significantly enhance the mental health care and support services provided to Service Members, Veterans and their Families dealing with the invisible wounds.
Guests came from near and far to attend the headquarters opening, including nearly 250 Federal, State and City officials, business, healthcare, and Military and Veterans’ leaders. Special guests included U.S. Senator Edward Markey who shared the importance of Home Base for the community. “With Home Base, there is a program that speaks to what our Veterans are facing,” Markey said. “Home Base not only understands Veterans, but the interconnection between their service and mental health – and how to help them,” Markey added. “Home Base is the model that gives the help and the care our Veterans and their families need.”
Home Base also welcomed MA Governor Charlie Baker who spoke on behalf of the state of Massachusetts – a state that prioritizes mental health care – about the program’s success and progress throughout the years. “This is the most important innovation in the way we help the men and women coming back from the combat theatre. Home Base is such a gift to anyone in the uniform serving our country and the Commonwealth.”
The Center was funded entirely through the support of individuals and organizations in the community. “Moving into our new home allows us to finally match the top quality of care at Home Base with the space and environment that surrounds it,” said Home Base Executive Director Brigadier General (ret.) Jack Hammond. “This Center will enable us to better meet the critical needs for our services by doubling our capacity and serve more people in need. I’m proud of this moment and of what we deliver to heal the invisible wounds of our military, Veterans and their families.”
Massachusetts General Hospital President Dr. Peter Slavin shared the importance of the Red Sox – MGH partnership and addressed the need of mental health care for veterans and military families. “Our Massachusetts General Hospital Partnership with the Red Sox has been incredibly powerful. Home Base ensures that no one who returns from war is forgotten by providing them access to treatment they so richly deserve.
After the ribbon cutting, guests and neighbors were invited to tour the clinical space and take photos with the 2013 Red Sox World Series Trophy – a gift from Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner as the team worked to reclaim their Championship title in the 2018 World Series championships games against the LA Dodgers. Additional special guests included: MA Attorney General Maura Healey; Boston Mayor Marty Walsh; MA Veterans Services Secretary Francisco Ureña; MA Senator Mike Rush; City of Boston’s Veterans’ Services Commissioner Giselle Sterling, in addition to first responder leaders from across the state to include: Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian; Boston Police Commissioner William Gross; Boston Fire Chief Joe Finn; Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes; Natick Police Chief Jim Hicks; and MBTA Transit Police Superintendent Richard Sullivan.
Since the opening of its new headquarters, Home Base has been off to a busy start. The clinic has already seen nearly 316 Veterans and Family Members for clinical care and support, doubled the number of Veterans and Families served in the two-week Intensive Clinical Program (ICP), expanded its wellness programs and piloted new programs for Veterans dealing with substance abuse.
“Our expanded services at Home Base are a shining example of America’s delivery on our debt of gratitude for the women, men and families who have sacrificed so much for our country’s protection,” said Michael Allard, chief operating officer, Home Base. “They’ve earned and deserve the right to receive world class care, healing and hope – and we hope this new space illustrates our commitment to them and their well-being.”