SUNY Adirondack to operate expanded veterans program

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June 07, 2022

College awarded peer-to-peer program contract in Warren, Washington counties
Warren and Washington counties have joined forces with SUNY Adirondack to expand a program that provides free services to local veterans through peer relationships.

Warren County has contracted with SUNY Adirondack to operate Adirondack Peer-to-Peer Support Services, A PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Project. Under terms of a grant agreement, the program uses a peer-to-peer approach to assist veterans in Warren and Washington counties.

To expand the program, the program administrators in Warren County sought to collaborate with an entity that could provide more resources for the region’s veterans. SUNY Adirondack was awarded the contract through a competitive “request for proposals” process.

The new program operators at SUNY Adirondack have set goals to:

  • Hire a program coordinator who will work from the Randles Veteran Center on SUNY Adirondack’s campus and in front of veterans in our counties. 
  • Enlist the program coordinator to develop a list of veteran peers who are ready to assist with the program and create an engagement plan that has a holistic perspective of the veteran populations in Warren and Washington counties.
  • Compile clinical resources within our counties to connect veterans in need of them to and develop relationships/partnerships with those resources. 
  • Implement the engagement plan by offering programs that benefit different veteran populations, building community and connecting veterans to the services they need to successfully transition into the civilian world and address their mental health needs.

Said Taylor Testa, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who is director of Student Engagement & Diversity Initiatives and adjunct professor of Anthropology at SUNY Adirondack: "Transitioning from military to civilian life can be one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome for veterans. To go from having a clear goal with a tight social support system in the form of fellow service members to having to find a new purpose, a new sense of meaning and belonging, is incredibly daunting and isolating. This is even more complicated for veterans living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injuries (TBI). The Dwyer Veterans Peer Support program is incredibly important in connecting veterans in our area with their peers and offering non-clinical services for PTSD and TBI. We look forward to partnering with Warren and Washington counties on this program and are excited to be the focal point for connecting veterans in our community."
Said Kristine D. Duffy, Ed.D., president of SUNY Adirondack: "SUNY Adirondack has a long history of supporting student veterans, as well as providing a space for all veterans in the community to access services and support. We look forward to providing the programs and services needed by our veterans and families in our community and thank the Warren County leadership for their trust in us to do so.”
Said Denise DiResta, Warren County director of Veterans Services: “I’m happy that SUNY Adirondack has been awarded the Peer-to-Peer Support Services, A PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Project Grant commonly known as Adirondack Peer-to-Peer. The future of this program connecting past and present military service members and their families across two counties will be challenging, but I believe the infrastructure already in place at SUNY Adirondack will be just what this program needs to take it to the next level. Service members, veterans and their families should be on the lookout for upcoming events and/or activities being supported by Adirondack Peer-to-Peer as these events are FREE and SUNY Adirondack has a well-established network of resources which will benefit all era Servicemembers/Veterans and their families.”
Said Kenneth Winchell, Washington County director of Veterans Services: “I am very excited to begin working with SUNY Adirondack and the staff in the Veterans Resource Center on this next chapter of Warren and Washington Counties' Adirondack Peer-to-Peer Support Services, A PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Project. I believe SUNY Adirondack put forward a strong proposal and has the resources and infrastructure to support the outreach required to meet the needs of the veterans in our community. My office remains committed to supporting SUNY Adirondack in developing this Veterans' peer support program to its full potential.”

The program is named for U.S. Army Medic PFC Joseph P. Dwyer, a New York native who risked his life to aid an injured child in Iraq and struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder and substance use upon his return to the U.S.

Warren and Washington counties are among 25 in New York that have operated a Peer-to-Peer program.

Find more information about the program at