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Shadale Jacobs Invited to Inaugural AmericaServes Community of Practice Conference

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Shadale Jacobs, Cardinal Innovations Healthcare's Access Coordinator Manager and Lead for the NCServices Coordination Center, has been invited as a partner with The USO of NC, Inc., to participate in the inaugural AmericaServes Community of Practice Conference in Syracuse, N.Y., May 3-4.

AmericaServes is a coordinated network of veteran services across the United States equipped with technological and informational resources needed to efficiently and effectively guide service members, veterans, and their families to the most appropriate services and resources. NC Serves is a branch of AmericaServes that specifically assists with the needs of service members, veterans and their families who currently reside in North Carolina. Currently, there are three coordination centers in North Carolina (Charlotte, Coastal and Raleigh).

The Cardinal Innovations Healthcare Access Department partners with the USO of NC to operate as the call center and handle case navigation duties of the Raleigh, N.C., network. It also partners with Charlotte Bridge Home to coordinate mental health care for individuals in the Charlotte/Metrolina region.

The conference is the first to bring center coordination staff members together from across the nation to strengthen their approaches to coordinated service delivery through training and sharing of best practices. Jacobs will attend military cultural competency training and will participate in work groups, sharing best practices for implementing clinical and non-clinical approaches to addressing the needs of military populations.

“My goal is to bring back more national resources," says Jacobs, who has served as lead of the NCServices Coordination Center serving Raleigh/Durham for about six months. “That's my major goal, to find resources to fill in those gaps that it's hard to get veterans connected to."

Jacobs, who has worked for Cardinal Innovations' Access Department for nine years, said she has a special interest in helping veterans. “I gravitate toward veterans. My husband served. My grandfather served and I have a cousin who is like a brother to me who served," she says.

As Access Coordinator Manager, Jacobs is responsible for all Qualified Professional (QP) team member activities on the toll-free crisis/information/referral lines managed by Cardinal Innovations.

Jacobs also leads the team that ensures Cardinal Innovations has staff members trained as the point of contact for TRICARE, the health care program for uniformed service members and their families. She also ensures that members of the armed forces, veterans and their families have access to state-funded services when they are not eligible for federally funded mental health and substance use disorder services.

Housing is a major issue facing veterans that Jacobs says she hopes to work on with ideas from the conference.

“Sometimes it's that there's not adequate affordable house or housing assistance," she says. “Some people just need help with getting their rent or mortgage paid. There're not enough veteran-specific resources. Our goal is to look at the veterans and say 'this is a special population.' They need to be paid attention to because of the service they've provided for the nation."

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