Billionaire hedge fund investor Steven A. Cohen has pledged $275 million to create a national network of free mental health clinics for military veterans and their families, Bloomberg reports.
The Cohen Veterans Network will seek to open twenty-five clinics serving a total of more than twenty-five thousand patients annually by 2020, said Anthony Hassan, the network's executive director. Four clinics will open by the end of the year, including NYU Langone's Steven and Alexandra Cohen Military Family Clinic, which the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation helped underwrite in 2013 and which will serve as a model for the network's clinics. Facilities in San Antonio and Addison, Texas, will open later this spring in partnership with Family Endeavors and Metrocare Services, respectively, while others will open later in the year at the University of Southern California and the University of Pennsylvania.
Cohen, whose son was deployed to Afghanistan in 2010, began supporting veterans' mental health initiatives in 2011 while serving on the board of the Robin Hood Foundation. He also supports Cohen Veterans Bioscience, which works to accelerate the development of biomarker tests and drug-based therapies for post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury.
"Half of all Iraq and Afghanistan veterans say they know a fellow veteran who attempted or committed suicide. Half!" said Cohen in remarks prepared for a fundraiser in support of the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation. "After 9/11, our veterans rushed to protect us. Now it is our turn to protect them."