Harnessing the Power of Partnerships for Student Veterans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                             

Contact: Liz Russell

Harnessing the Power of Partnerships for Student Veterans
The Pathway Home, San Francisco VA Health Care System Team Up

Yountville, CA, May 15, 2017 – The Pathway Home, Inc. (TPH) is excited to announce the finalization of its formal partnership with the San Francisco Veterans Affairs (SFVA) Health Care System’s Student Veteran Health Program. This strategic alliance creates a continuum of care for student Veterans served at TPH by having VA psychologist Jennifer Gonzales divide her time as a treatment team member onsite at TPH and on campus at Napa Valley College. 

Having a VA psychologist on site is key to meeting the needs of student Veterans struggling to manage symptoms of depression, anxiety, or PTSD so that they can more successfully navigate academic life. This partnership also helps Veterans connect with VA health care and specialty services as appropriate.

“This public-private partnership allows TPH to benefit from the breadth and depth of knowledge held by the VA while remaining nimble and responsive to Veteran needs as an independent nonprofit,” said Christine Loeber MSW, LCSW, Executive Director of The Pathway Home.

The Pathway Home is well-versed in public-private partnerships, having a long-standing collaboration with the California Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Home of California, Yountville. Through its partnership with the Veterans Home of California, Yountville, TPH utilizes a campus building for its program, serving the latest generation of Veterans. The Pathway Home also partners with local community organizations such as Bay Area Rotary Clubs and local businesses eager to support Veterans. According to TPH’s Board of Directors Chair Dorothy Salmon, public-private partnerships are the way of the future.

“The community can’t do it alone and the VA can’t do it alone, we need each other” Salmon said.

About The Pathway Home: The Pathway Home is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit providing educational, professional, and clinical support in a residential setting to post-9/11 Veterans pursuing academic or vocational endeavors who are transitioning back into the civilian world following military deployment. The Pathway Home remains self-supporting through private donations and foundation grants.

Download the press release here: TPH-VA Partnership Press Release May 2017


The Pathway Home’s Refocused Mission & New Leadership

In case you missed it, The Pathway Home was featured in the April 2017 edition of North Bay Biz: “A New Path To Help Veterans”. Below is a press release about our refocused and re-energized mission, ably led by Executive Director Christine Loeber, MSW, LCSW.



Contact: Liz Russell

The Pathway Home’s Refocused Mission and New Leadership
Now Accepting Student Veteran Applications

Yountville, CA, May 5, 2017 –The Pathway Home, Inc. (TPH) is proud to announce it is welcoming post-9/11 student Veterans into its structured living environment, providing a place that understands post-deployment challenges and offers wrap-around mental health and case management services to its residents.

Driving this refocused mission on student Veterans is The Pathway Home’s new Executive Director, Christine Loeber, MSW, LCSW, who possesses more than 25 years of corporate, non-profit, and clinical experience. Most recently, she served as a clinician at the Santa Rosa VA Outpatient Mental Health Clinic and as acting-Assistant Chief of Community Based Outpatient Mental Health for the San Francisco VA Health Care System.

“We learned Veterans were having a harder time than their just-out-of-high school peers finishing their education or vocational programs,” Loeber said. “We’re intervening earlier to help prevent common transition challenges from developing into chronic, disabling conditions.”

The immediate responsibility of finding a job or pursuing a degree, coupled with managing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and other post-deployment challenges, can be a difficult transition to navigate alone.

“When you get out, there’s a lot of loneliness,” said Cassidy Nolan, President of the Veteran Student Organization at Napa Valley College. “You don’t have your battle buddies anymore. You don’t have your barracks mate. The Pathway Home fills that void, in a very positive way.”

Program applications, currently being accepted on a rolling basis, can be obtained by visiting our website at: http://thepathwayhome.org/  

About The Pathway Home: The Pathway Home is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit providing educational, professional, and clinical support in a residential setting to post-9/11 Veterans pursuing academic or vocational endeavors who are transitioning back into the civilian world following military deployment. Since its founding in 2008, TPH has provided residential treatment to more than 450 veterans in crisis. The Pathway Home remains self-supporting through private donations and foundation grants.


U.S. Vets Secretary Visits Home for Discussion With CalVet Brass

U.S. Vets Secretary Visits Home for Discussion With CalVet Brass

October 20, 2016 (Yountville, CA)

California Dept. of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) Secretary Vito Imbasciani M.D., hosted U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) Secretary Robert McDonald and U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson of St. Helena for a visit to the California Veterans Home in Yountville on October 13.

Thompson invited Secretary McDonald to visit the home in Yountville so he could see the important services provided to veterans firsthand and discuss ways in which the home can work in partnership with the federal government.

The Secretary also learned about The Pathway Home, a non-profit based at the Yountville home that provides support to veterans transitioning to civilian life, with emphasis on student veterans.

“I was honored to meet with Secretary McDonald and Congressman Thompson and discuss our continued collaboration so California’s Veterans have prompt access to the highest quality of care and benefits that they earned through their service,” said Imbasciani.

This was McDonald’s first tour of the Home, the oldest veterans home in the United States.

“I’m honored that Secretary McDonald accepted my invitation to visit the Veterans Home in Yountville,” said Thompson. “This Veterans’ Home is a great example of our federal and state government working together alongside private partners to provide our veterans with the care they need. As a veteran, I firmly believe that one of our country’s greatest responsibilities is to care for the men and women who bravely served our country in uniform. Many thanks to Secretary McDonald Secretary Imbasciani and everyone with the Yountville Veterans Home for coming together this morning to ensure that out partnership remains strong and that our heroes in Yountville have the best possible care and support.

Participants in the visit included Don Veverka, administrator of the Veterans Home of California-Yountville, Bonnie Graham, San Francisco Veterans Affair Health Care System director, State Senator Lois Wolk, Assemblyman Bill Dodd, and other officials from The Pathway Home, including Yountville Mayor John Dunbar.

The veterans who reside at the home served in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam Way, Desert Storm and in recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Thompson has been an advocate for The Pathway Home and fought to secure funding for programs such as a grant program for Veterans Student Centers, that the Pathway Home would be eligible to receive.

Thompson also introduced legislation that was signed into law 2014 that launched a pilot program to allow all service members and veterans to receive treatment for post-traumatic stress (PTS) and traumatic brain injuries (TBI) at certain non-VA care centers, like The Pathway Home that offer innovative treatment options.


Veteran receives free car from Napa auto body business

Veteran receives free car from Napa auto body business

Aug 12, 2016

A growing Napa family of four received a gift on Tuesday night that will make their lives much easier — and safer. And it came on four wheels.


Cassidy Nolan, 26, is a Napa resident and Marine Corps veteran. The young father and his wife Jillian have two girls — 3 years and 18 months old — and are expecting a baby in March.

There was just one problem. The family lacked a dependable car. Nolan has been driving a 12-year-old truck he bought years ago when he was still single and at Camp Pendleton.

Six years later, the truck has more than 150,000 miles on it and “is on its last leg,” Nolan said.

The family is afraid to use the unreliable truck to go on outings or trips. To top it off, next year Nolan plans to transfer from Napa Valley College to UC Berkeley and will be commuting to the university from Napa.

But thanks to Mike’s Auto Body of Napa, the family’s wheel worries have been greatly relieved.

The company, which has 15 locations in the Bay Area, presented the Nolans with a free 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan on Tuesday. The gift was part of the auto body’s Benevolence Program.

Seeing the car for the first time, “I was shocked. Surprised. Flabbergasted,” Nolan said.

“It was a huge gift. I am very honored to have this opportunity.”

“This car is absolutely perfect,” said Nolan. “It’s practically brand new, and it will last until the girls are in college.”

Sal Contreras at Mike’s Auto Body has been involved in the company’s Benevolence Program since its inception. He said he always gets excited when recipients see their cars for the first time.

“It is very satisfying, that’s for sure,” Contreras said.

This vehicle was provided by Hertz Rent A Car. It is the 60th such vehicle that Mike’s Auto Body has given away in the Bay Area.

Nolan was sponsored to receive the car by The Pathway Home, an organization that provides veterans with educational, professional and clinical support after military service. Eight technicians at Mike’s Auto Body donated their time to refurbish the vehicle.

The Nolan family also received a year of paid insurance and a trunk full of gifts.

In addition to the car, Nolan has been recently recognized in other ways for his service and community contributions.

Earlier this summer, Nolan was named the 2016 Veteran of the Year for the 4th Assembly District.

He also received a $4,000 scholarship from Community Projects, Inc. and a $6,000 scholarship from the George and Gwendolyn Goodin Scholarship, a fund of Napa Valley Community Foundation.

After he completes his education, “I’d like to become a business consultant, helping people achieve their goals,” Nolan said. “My business will involve veterans in some capacity.”

Besides presenting the Nolans with their vehicle, the event Tuesday evening at Mike’s Auto Body celebrated the recent expansion of the business. The facility, located at 827 Vallejo St., added 1,950 square feet of new offices, a new lobby and on-site parking.

“We’re excited about the new expansion and delighted to be able to provide jobs that help the local economy and the community,” said Mike Rose, owner of Mike’s Auto Body.


Napa Valley College student selected as Veteran of the Year

Napa Valley College student selected as Veteran of the Year


Assemblymember Bill Dodd selected Cassidy Nolan, center, as Veteran of the Year in the 4th Assembly District.  With Nolan at the Capitol ceremony is his wife, Jillian.

Veteran Cassidy Nolan, a 26-year-old Napa Valley Community College student, was honored Wednesday in the State Capitol as the 2016 Veteran of the Year for the 4th Assembly District.

Each year, the state Assembly honors one veteran from each of the state’s Assembly Districts who has significantly contributed to their local communities and served their country with honor and distinction.

“It was a privilege to be recognized along with veterans of all different generations from across California. This was a special day that highlighted the contributions of veterans,” Nolan said.

Nolan joined the military immediately after graduating high school in 2008, enlisting in the Marine Corps. He served two deployments in Afghanistan from 2008-2013 as Senior Intelligence Analyst and later as Intelligence Chief and Assistant Security Manager. During his service, Nolan received a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. After completing his service in July 2013 with the rank of E-4 Corporal, Nolan enrolled at NVC to study business management.

“As we look ahead toward our Independence Day, it’s important to honor veterans like Nolan who have protected this nation and are now supporting other veterans as they return home,” Dodd said in a news release.

At NVC, Nolan became president of their Student Veterans Organization in 2013. As president, he acts as an ambassador between veterans and the college, and as a veteran he understands the difficulties and challenges that fellow veterans face when leaving the military. He provides outreach, college assistance, scholarships and other financial support for veterans attending NVC.

In his three years as president, Nolan has been instrumental in the transition and development of a new version of a Pathway Home in Yountville, which helps empowered veterans through education and adequate medical treatment.

Looking to the future, Nolan has plans to transfer to UC Berkeley to finish his studies in business management. When Nolan is not advocating for veterans or pursuing his education, he spends time with his wife and two little girls.


Those With Multiple Tours of War Overseas Struggle at Home

Those With Multiple Tours of War Overseas Struggle at Home

MAY 29, 2016

FORT WORTH, Tex. — The dinner crowd was sparse for a downtown steakhouse, a handful of families and couples lost in conversations. Ryan Lundeby, 32, an Army Ranger with five deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, took in the scene from his table, seemingly meditative beneath his shaved head and long beard.

He was not.

“He watches, he’s always watching; he notices everything,” said his wife, Mary. “Superman noticing skills, that’s what I call it. Look, he’s doing it now — Ryan?”

“That table over there,” Mr. Lundeby said, his voice soft, his eyes holding a line. “The guy threw his straw wrapper on the ground. I’m waiting to see if he picks it up.”

He did not. Mr. Lundeby’s breathing slowed.

After 14 years of war, the number of veterans with multiple tours of combat duty is the largest in modern American history — more than 90,000 soldiers and Marines, many of them elite fighters who deployed four or more times. New evidence suggests that these veterans are not like most others when it comes to adjusting to civilian life.

An analysis of Army data shows that, unlike most of the military, these soldiers’ risk of committing suicide actually drops when they are deployed and soars after they return home. For the 85 percent of soldiers who make up the rest of the service and were deployed, the reverse is true.

“It’s exactly the opposite of what you see in the trauma literature, where more exposure predicts more problems,” said Ronald Kessler of Harvard, who led the study.

The findings may shed a clearer light on the need of this important group of veterans, whose experience is largely unparalleled in American history, in their numerous exposures to insurgent warfare, without clear fronts or predictable local populations. Researchers are finding that these elite fighters do not easily fit into the classic mold of veterans traumatized by their experience in war. As psychologists and others grow to understand this, they are starting to rethink some approaches to their treatment.

To read more, please follow this link to The New York Times.


A Powerful Reminder

A Powerful Reminder

00xp-VETS1-master675-v2‘Buddy Check on 22!’ Veterans Use Social Media to Fight Suicide

“Buddy check on 22! Where are my warriors?!” That was how E. Michael Davis, a former army sergeant, greeted his Facebook friends one afternoon last month.

One-by-one, the men and women who had been deployed with him in Iraq and Afghanistan checked in. Many were executing the most mundane of life’s tasks, but they were still alive: Working a long shift. Heading home for a beer. Exercising. Listening to music at the moment, thanks.

It was March 22. To many civilians, just another Tuesday. But to thousands of veterans and active duty soldiers, the 22nd of every month is a reminder to make a suicide prevention spot-check on former comrades. A Department of Veterans Affairs study in 2012 said an estimated 22 veterans committed suicide every day in 2010. While other studies calculated a lower tally, closer to one or two per day, the number 22 has taken on potent symbolism on social media, from roll calls to push-up challenges.

For the entire article, please click The New York Times

Photo:  Zachary Ziegel and other Marines attend a funeral in 2015 for Sgt. Austin Noble, one of the men who served with them in Afghanistan. Mr. Ziegel keeps a Buddy Check 22 Facebook page to help them keep track of each other. Credit Hayden Noble


A Welcome Reception for Medal of Honor Recipient, Florent Groberg

A Welcome Reception for Medal of Honor Recipient, Florent Groberg



Pathway Home Nears Deal with Napa Valley College

Pathway Home Nears Deal with Napa Valley College

nvcmulticolorlogosmallSince its founding nine years ago, The Pathway Home has partnered with veterans’ agencies, nonprofits and donors to treat hundreds of military men suffering from war’s aftereffects. In the coming months, the therapy program may gain the most important ally for its future: Napa Valley College.

Read the Full Story in the Napa Valley Register.


Dr. Alex Threlfall Joins The Pathway Home Board of Directors

Dr. Alex Threlfall Joins The Pathway Home Board of Directors

Alex ThrellfallAlexander Threlfall, M.D., M.A., functions as a Clinical Instructor for the University of California San Francisco Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Threlfall completed his fellowship training in geriatric psychiatry at UCSF in June of 2011 and his residency training at the University of Pennsylvania in 2010, where he served as chief resident. He was recently the Associate Chief of Community Based Outpatient Clinic Mental Health Services and Director for Mental Health at the Santa Rosa CBOC for the San Francisco VA and recently joined Santa Rosa Community Health Centers, a network of Sonoma County Federally Qualified Health Centers, as Medical Director for the Brookwood Health Center, which is funded to provide Primary Care and Mental Health services for the homeless in Sonoma County.

He attended medical school at Texas Tech School of Medicine in Lubbock, TX and has a masters in biotechnology from Columbia University – NYC. He has been a member of the AAGP since 2008 and from 2010 to 2011 sat on the board of the AAGP’s Political Action Committee as the MIT. Over the course of his AAGP membership, he has served on and/or contributed to a variety of committees and caucuses including the AAGP’s Public Policy Committee, Annual Meeting Planning Committee, Scholars Program and VA Caucus. He has also chaired and presented symposia on Telepsychiatry and Psychotherapy in Late Life depression for the last two years at the APA (2013) and AAGP (2014). Lastly, Dr. Threlfall will have completed his 3 year term as Council Member for the APA’s Council on Geriatric Psychiatry.