Dr. Jan Cook, a Holy Family University alumna (M’09, EdD’17), recently had a literature review published by the Marine Corps University Press Journal. Her work was entitled The Military-Civilian Bridge.
The piece investigates the premise that a health crisis exists in veterans’ health care settings for those at the end of their lives and in regards to their unclaimed remains. The issues may be going unrecognized or largely ignored by those in health care settings and by the public, according to the author, contributing to a lack of strategic and tactical care for veterans in hospice as well as non-ownership of the issues regarding burial of the remains of unclaimed veterans.
According to Cook, for both matters there is a lack of consistent, systematic, standardized implementation of military identification records that might otherwise work to solve prominent issues. Hope for these issues is conceptualized as the Military-Civilian Bridge, an open-source educational model that encompasses the cooperative efforts of health care professionals, veterans, and citizens. In this effort, the wisdom-filled legacies of dying veterans are told, and the exposed stories of veterans who go unclaimed are claimed.
“My literature review, The Military-Civilian Bridge, is a result of weekly meetings with Marine Corps Veteran Dan Kohlbek over the span of a year,” Cook said. “I served as writer and conveyor of his important ideas, which exist so that people can better understand how to honor our U.S. Military veterans. We'd discussed the many end-of-life and unclaimed remains of veterans’ problems that exist in the veteran community, but that are going unrecognized or are dismissed. The Military-Civilian Bridge also covers the medical records problems that plagues our country’s electronic medical records in reference to veterans accessing civilian health care.”
Cook is the enrollment support specialist at Bucks County Community College and serves to coordinate its Veterans’ Initiatives and Supports. Her dissertation, The Female Veterans’ Voice: Their Challenges when Faced by Stop Out Enrollment, focused on transitioning veterans. The Military-Civilian Bridge continues Cook’s path as a researcher of prominent issues impacting U.S. military veterans. Cook is currently working on another area of research regarding issues impacting veterans' health.
“I am creating a whole galley of writing about veterans,” Cook said. “I am presently working on another paper about Veterans’ Home Health Care. I relate strongly to the military culture having grown up as a military dependent. My primary identity is rooted there and my passion is real. My belief is that when we, as citizens, recognize the value of our veterans, their military sacrifices, we honor ourselves as a society. I don’t see the military and civilian cultures as truly separate, for they serve as one. The purpose of the Bridge Model is to bring the cultures together in appreciation, and instill lessons learned from the lives of veterans back into the community.”