CHA Announces Membership in the Elizabeth Dole Foundation’s Hidden Helpers Coalition

CHA Announces Membership in the Elizabeth Dole Foundation’s Hidden Helpers Coalition

CHA is pleased to join the Elizabeth Dole Foundation’s Hidden Helpers Coalition, co-chaired by the Wounded Warrior Project, aimed at raising awareness for children caring for service members and veterans.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) today announced it is joining the Elizabeth Dole Foundation’s Hidden Helpers Coalition to support military connected-families. At an event hosted at Nemours Children’s Hospital, Delaware, and co-hosted by U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) and EDF, CHA joined the Coalition to advocate for hidden helpers, the children and teens who provide care to, or are impacted by the care needs of, a wounded, ill, or injured service member or veteran.

In 2021, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation first brought awareness to the crisis facing military and veteran caregiving families in its release of a groundbreaking study by Mathematica that revealed the high levels of stress, burnout, fatigue, anxiety, and depression experienced by hidden helpers. That same year, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation and Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) partnered with the White House’s Joining Forces Initiative to launch the Hidden Helpers Coalition. The Coalition’s mission is to foster the holistic health and well-being of hidden helpers and raise their voices through research, education, clinical transformation, peer support, and a commitment to adapting evidence-based programming and interventions.

“CHA is excited to join the Elizabeth Dole Foundation’s Hidden Helpers Coalition,” said Matt Cook, CEO of CHA. “We have a shared focus on children’s mental health. Together, we can work toward providing support for these hidden helpers and their families.”

The Coalition, co-chaired by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation and WWP, is made up of nonprofit, corporate, and government organizations committed to making an impact on the support available to and services offered for hidden helpers. To date, more than 100 organizations, including Nemours Children’s Health, have joined the Coalition and signed up to lead programming and projects across the Coalition’s four committees: Clinical Transformation, Peer Support, Education, and Impact. Together, Coalition members have committed to over 40 new programs and initiatives to better support the needs of military and veteran families.

Nemours Children’s Health was one of the first hospitals to join the Coalition and is currently the only children’s health system among Coalition members. In partnership with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, Nemours Children’s this year announced a new online training program for health care providers, promoting better care strategies for hidden helpers. The three-part training informs primary, specialty, and behavioral health care providers, social workers and other care team members about the role and responsibilities caregiver children and teens may take on at home. The program covers how trauma-informed care can benefit this community, and why some young caregivers and their families are reluctant to share their challenges with providers. Nemours is also co-chair of the Coalition’s Clinical Transformation Subcommittee within CHA.

"We appreciate that every member of a military family serves our country by supporting veterans and active service members in their own way,” said R. Lawrence Moss, MD, board member, Children’s Hospital Association and President and CEO, Nemours Children’s Health. “The resilience of military kids is inspiring, yet at the same time, the challenges of a military lifestyle can lead to anxiety and depression. We look forward to bringing our unique perspective and expertise to creating a healthier future for our country’s military children and families, and we encourage CHA’s member hospitals to join us in this extraordinary effort.”

CHA continues to advocate to address the mental health needs of children and teens in caregiving homes. By partnering with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, Nemours Children’s Health, and other members of the Coalition, we can make a greater impact for these families.

“We are honored to welcome CHA into the Hidden Helpers Coalition. As the leading organization for military and veteran caregivers and their families, we know how vital it is that we collaborate with the national voice of children’s hospitals,” said Steve Schwab, CEO of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. “We are so grateful for the transformational work Nemours Children’s Health has done and for connecting us with CHA. In partnership with CHA, we look forward to reaching other children’s hospitals as we expand our work to support and reach hidden helpers in the clinical setting.”

About Elizabeth Dole Foundation and Hidden Heroes

The Elizabeth Dole Foundation is the preeminent organization empowering, supporting, and honoring our nation’s 5.5 million military caregivers – the spouses, parents, family members, and friends who care for America’s wounded, ill, or injured veterans at home. Founded by Senator Elizabeth Dole in 2012, the Foundation adopts a comprehensive approach in its support and advocacy, working with leaders in the public, private, nonprofit, and faith communities to recognize military caregivers’ service and promote their well-being. Learn more on the Hidden Helpers Coalition website.


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