United Hospital Fund Honors Rear Admiral Robert A. Rosen, NYNM (Ret.) For Creating a Center to Treat “Invisible Wounds” of War Veterans, Law Enforcement Personnel, and Their Families

The United Hospital Fund honored Rear Admiral Robert A. Rosen, NYNM (Ret.), with its 2008 Distinguished Community Service Award at its annual black-tie gala, held Monday, October 6, 2008. The award recognizes Admiral Rosen for his leadership in creating the Florence and Robert A. Rosen Family Wellness Center at the North Shore-Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Health System, which addresses the physical and mental health issues of veterans, law enforcement personnel, and their families.

In 2005, after identifying inadequacies in access to mental health services for the veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, Admiral Rosen sought the guidance of his friend and colleague Dr. Lawrence Scherr, former chairman of the medicine at North Shore University Hospital. Admiral and Mrs. Rosen wanted to help those who have served our country and who, as a result, are experiencing a range of problems, from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and substance abuse, to marital and other family problems, sleep disorders, and workplace difficulties. Admiral Rosen and Mrs. wanted to help their families, too.

With his wife, Florence, and their family, Admiral Rosen envisioned and then created The Florence and Robert A. Rosen Family Wellness Center for Law Enforcement and Military Personnel and Their Families at the North Shore-LIJ Health System–recognized as the first of its kind and a national model. The center treats what Admiral Rosen calls “the invisible wounds of war,” the psychological and behavioral conditions that are sometimes hidden, but just as serious as bullet wounds. A critical and distinguishing feature of the Center is its emphasis on caring for the entire family, recognizing that dangerous and stressful assignments can have a serious impact on spouses, partners, parents, and children–and that the reintegration of families after long and sometimes multiple deployments brings unique challenges.

Designed to complement, not compete with, government programs, the Rosen Center’s services are entirely confidential and free to those in need. Because the Center is designed to be a resource “without walls,” veterans and their families can enter the program at any of 15 North Shore-LIJ hospitals or right in their own communities. The Center also features research programs to ensure the most responsive, accessible, and effective care.

While the Rosen Center has already provided over 1,500 clinical sessions and reached more than 1,600 attendees through its community education and outreach programs, its ultimate goal is to ensure that all of the 1 million veterans, hundreds of thousands of law enforcement personnel, and family members throughout the New York region know that special care is available.

“We are pleased to recognize Rear Admiral Rosen with the Distinguished Community Service Award,” said James R. Tallon, Jr., president of the United Hospital Fund. “He identified a critical need in the New York community–the need of individuals who put their lives at risk in service to their community and country–and he found a way to address that need, first in concept, then in practice. Like the Fund itself, Admiral Rosen understands that change for the better in health care is more than possible; it is doable. He knows how challenging such change can be, but the rewards are even greater. We at the Fund share his belief that the creation of the Rosen Family Wellness Center will make an important difference in the lives and health of countless New Yorkers. It demonstrates the role that not-for-profit hospitals can play in addressing unmet needs.”

The Distinguished Community Service Award was established by the Fund in 1987 to recognize and promote extraordinary contributions by public-minded citizens to improve health care in New York City. For a third year, the Distinguished Community Service Award has been underwritten by TIAA-CREF, America’s leading provider of retirement services in the medical, academic, research, and cultural fields. Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., president and chief executive officer of TIAA-CREF, presented the award to Rear Admiral Robert A. Rosen, NYNM (Ret.), this year’s recipient.

Mr. Ferguson said, “TIAA-CREF shares the United Hospital Fund’s enthusiasm in recognizing Admiral Robert Rosen, whose work to address the psychological and behavioral wounds of war resulted in a first-of-its-kind wellness center at North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System that is notable for its holistic approach to mental health treatment for returning veterans and their families. Admiral Rosen, the United Hospital Fund, and TIAA-CREF all believe in serving those who serve others, and TIAA-CREF is pleased to join with the United Hospital Fund tonight to honor Admiral Rosen’s achievement.”

Admiral Rosen is chairman and CEO of Rosen Associates Management Corporation, a real estate company with properties throughout the country. He credits much of his professional and voluntary success to the support he gets from his family–Florence, his wife of 48 years, his four married children, and his 13 grandchildren.

At the gala, the Fund also honored Anthony L. Watson, chairman and chief executive officer of EmblemHealth, Inc., with its Health Care Leadership Award, and The New York Community Trust, one of New York’s preeminent philanthropic leaders, with a Special Tribute.

The gala was held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. The event marks the opening of the Fund’s 130th fund-raising campaign, which supports hospitals and health care in New York and the Fund’s work to shape positive change.

The benefit chairman was J. Barclay Collins II, executive vice president and general counsel of Hess Corporation, who is chairman of the United Hospital Fund.

TIAA-CREF offers a full array of financial products and services to help those in the medical, academic, cultural and research fields plan for and live in retirement.

The United Hospital Fund is a health services research and philanthropic organization whose mission is to shape positive change in health care for the people of New York. For more information, please visit www.uhfnyc.org.

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