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Military family clinic to open in Lakewood

Billionaire's philanthropy drives effort

A clinic like this one in El Paso will open in Lakewood this summer. Photo credit: Valley Cities Behavioral Health Care

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In April 2016, philanthropist and billionaire hedge fund manager Steven A. Cohen pledged $275 million to support military veterans and their families by opening mental health clinics around the country.

One of these clinics is slated to open in Lakewood by the end of the year.

The clinic's construction and services funding comes from the Cohen Veterans Network (CVN), a 501(c)(3) national nonprofit. Cohen leads Point72 Asset Management and is worth approximately $12 billion.

Since opening its first clinic in 2016, CVN has worked to open about five clinics a year with the goal of having 25 clinics serving a total of more than 25,000 patients annually by 2020.

"We have an approach that is more rigorous," explained Cohen in a 2016 New York Times interview. "The problem with the veterans' charity arena is it's incredibly fragmented. This is different. We're trying to create a national network and learn from it."

Infused with this attitude, the Lakewood clinic will come as welcome news for many area and Washington veterans.

"More than 110,000 post-9/11 Washington veterans will soon be able to receive customized life-saving mental healthcare through the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic," wrote Anthony Guido, a communications and marketing official at CVN, in a press release.

Clinics are already in operation in a dozen municipalities around the country.

The new Lakewood clinic will offer free or low-cost mental healthcare to all veterans and their family members, regardless of discharge status, with priority given to post-9/11 veterans.

The clinics promise short wait times and free transportation to appointments.

They also represent a two-pronged initiative: They help veterans who return from combat with post-traumatic stress or traumatic brain injuries, and through Cohen Veterans Bioscience, the clinics explore research into diagnostic tools and treatments for those conditions.

"It's very simple the way we see it -- a veteran is someone who wore the uniform for even one day," said CVN executive director and CEO Dr. Anthony Hassan in a 2016 Stars & Stripes interview.

An Army and Air Force veteran who has spent years studying military behavioral health, Hassan pointed out that he picked the initial locations based on their high concentrations of veterans and long Veterans Administration wait times for mental health appointments.

"We're here to fill those gaps in care," Hassan said.

Cohen had previously explored some veteran's issues through the Robin Hood Foundation, where he teamed up with retired Admiral Michael Mullen to co-chair the foundation's board.

But his sense of philanthropy sharpened and became personal after his Marine son, Robert, served a year in Afghanistan.

"Half of all Iraq and Afghanistan veterans say they know a fellow veteran who attempted or committed suicide. Half!" said Cohen, during a fundraiser in support of the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation.

"After 9/11, our veterans rushed to protect us," Cohen continued, "now it is our turn to protect them."

To learn more about the Cohen Veterans Network, visit

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