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Press Release

For Immediate Release
July 11, 2014

Contact:
Communications Office
(603)271-2121

Governor Hassan Sends Letter Urging Department of Defense to Protect Continuity of Services for Service Members, Veterans and Their Families
Calls Determination a "Baffling Bureaucratic Decision"

CONCORD – Calling on the Department of Defense to protect continuity of high-quality service to New Hampshire’s service members, veterans and their families, Governor Maggie Hassan sent a letter to Department of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel protesting a determination by the National Guard Bureau that she called a “baffling bureaucratic decision.”

At issue is the Bureau’s decision to exclude New Hampshire Easter Seals from the bidding process for the next contract for New Hampshire’s nationally recognized Deployment Cycle Support Care Coordination Program (DCS-CCP).

"New Hampshire was at the forefront of developing a deployment support program as a cooperative arrangement between the National Guard, state agencies and Easter Seals New Hampshire," Governor Hassan wrote. "Now in a baffling bureaucratic decision, the National Guard Bureau is refusing to allow Easter Seals to even bid on the contract to continue the program, saying the contract will be bid as a small business set aside, excluding nonprofits."

Governor Hassan added, "This one-of-a-kind partnership has been widely praised throughout the country, and data shows that the services provided by Easter Seals have a tremendously positive impact on the lives of our service members and their families.”

The Deployment support program helps National Guard members and their families address the issues that arise from deployment and re-integration into civilian life after deployment – from finding new jobs to keeping housing to accessing critical health care services.

"Over the past seven years, more than 2,600 individuals have gone through the Deployment Cycle Support Care Coordination Program. In May 2014 alone, DCS-CCP case managers linked 53 clients with community resources, helped 18 individuals obtain employment, prevented 20 instances of homelessness, and provided successful intervention for one client at significant risk of suicide."

In addition to refusing to allow Easter Seals to even bid to continue to provide the services, it is also unclear whether the partnership with state government will be able to continue under a new contract.

Governor Hassan's letter concluded, "Currently, 281 individuals are receiving DCS-CCP services from Easter Seals NH – care that has a tremendous impact and saves lives. The very least we can do for these individuals is ensure that the cooperative agreement is extended and all partners, both state and nonprofit, continue to have a role in the delivery of vital DCS-CCP services."

Full text of the Governor's letter to Secretary Hagel

The Honorable Chuck Hagel
Secretary of Defense
United States Department of Defense
1400 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301

Dear Secretary Hagel:

I write to you today to alert you to a serious situation that I believe undermines efforts to provide high-quality care to our veterans and their families through New Hampshire’s Deployment Cycle Support Care Coordination Program (DCS-CCP). New Hampshire was at the forefront of developing a deployment support program as a cooperative arrangement between the National Guard, state agencies and Easter Seals New Hampshire.

Now in a baffling bureaucratic decision, the National Guard Bureau is refusing to allow Easter Seals to even bid on the contract to continue the program, saying the contract will be bid as a small business set aside, excluding nonprofits.

In 2007, Easter Seals NH, in partnership with the New Hampshire National Guard and the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, developed the Deployment Cycle Support Care Coordination Program to provide case management services to military members and their families throughout the deployment cycle. This one-of-a-kind partnership has been widely praised throughout the country, and data shows that the services provided by Easter Seals have a tremendously positive impact on the lives of our service members and their families.

Over the past seven years, more than 2,600 individuals have gone through the Deployment Cycle Support Care Coordination Program. In May 2014 alone, DCS-CCP case managers linked 53 clients with community resources, helped 18 individuals obtain employment, prevented 20 instances of homelessness, and provided successful intervention for one client at significant risk of suicide.

Statistics from the Department of Veterans Affairs indicate that approximately 8,000 veterans take their lives each year, but this data is incomplete and the number is likely much higher. Suicide prevention is yet another area where the DCS-CCP partnership shines. In the past seven years, more than 80 DCS-CCP participants have received successful suicide intervention services. Yet, despite the success and wide praise of the Deployment Cycle Support Care Coordination Program, the unique partnership between the state, the New Hampshire National Guard, and Easter Seals NH may soon come to an end.

Since the program’s inception, it has been managed through a cooperative agreement between the New Hampshire National Guard, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, and Easter Seals NH – an agreement that is set to end permanently in September 2014. Once the cooperative agreement expires, DCS-CCP will be managed through a federal contract, ending a successful partnership that has brought the state, the New Hampshire National Guard, and the nonprofit community together to provide effective services to military personnel and their families. In addition, proposals for the Deployment Cycle Support Care Coordination Program are being solicited as a small business set-aside – effectively excluding Easter Seals NH from the federal contract process. Moving forward with the federal contract will also eliminate the state’s formal role in the program and end the current DCS-CCP partnership that has helped save lives.

At a time when the delivery of vital services to our veterans and service members is in such disarray, we should take every effort to ensure continuity of care. Currently, 281 individuals are receiving DCS-CCP services from Easter Seals NH – care that has a tremendous impact and saves lives. The very least we can do for these individuals is ensure that the cooperative agreement is extended and all partners, both state and nonprofit, continue to have a role in the delivery of vital DCS-CCP services. Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

With every good wish,

Margaret Wood Hassan
Governor

Cc:
President Barak Obama
Vice President Joseph Biden
General Frank J. Grass, Chief, National Guard Bureau
Senator Jeanne Shaheen
Senator Kelly Ayotte
Representative Carol Shea-Porter
Representative Ann McLane Kuster
Major General William N. Reddel III, Adjutant General, New Hampshire National Guard
Governor Terry Branstad, Co-Chair, Council of Governors
Governor Martin O’Malley, Co-Chair, Council of Governors
Governor Jan Brewer, Member, Council of Governors
Governor Dannel Malloy, Member, Council of Governors
Governor Neil Abercrombie, Member, Council of Governors
Governor Jay Nixon, Member, Council of Governors
Governor Pat Quinn, Member, Council of Governors
Governor Brian Sandoval, Member, Council of Governors
Governor Bill Haslam, Member, Council of Governors
Governor Matt Mead, Member, Council of Governors