Veteran services

Kelly Center brings veteran services to the Hays community through the Manhattan Vet Center


HAYS, Kan. – The Fort Hays State University Kelly Center has partnered with the Manhattan Area Veterinary Center to bring veterans services to FHSU and the Hays community.

Starting in March, a team of counselors and veterans will provide free services, including:

  • Individual consultation
  • Group consultation
  • Family counseling
  • bereavement counseling
  • Veterans Affairs Treatment Benefits References
  • References to benefits from the Veterans Benefits Administration
  • VA Disability Claims Assistance
  • Alcohol and Drug Addiction Assessments and Referrals
  • Community resource information and referrals
  • Counseling and referral for military sexual trauma

All services will be available at the Kelly Center on the first Monday of each month, starting March 5.

“The primary goal of the partnership is to promote access to care by helping veterans and families overcome barriers that prevent them from using these services,” said Dr. Seth Kastle, assistant professor of health care studies. the leadership.

The partnership, developed by Kastle and Shawn Martin, director of the Manhattan Area Veterans Center, will meet an urgent need in western Kansas. Many rural areas lack veteran care or services, and most veteran care facilities are located in large metropolitan areas. Currently, Hays services are limited to a community outreach clinic for veterans. Veterans seeking health care at the clinic must be eligible for VA health benefits. The partnership will increase services and accessibility for the entire Hays area military community, including veterans, service members, dependents and survivors, regardless of VA benefit eligibility.

“This partnership allows members of the military community to get help and receive services that they would not otherwise be entitled to or have access to,” Kastle said. “The biggest hurdle we face in this partnership is making the community aware of its existence. There are many people in need; we just need to make them aware of their options.

“FHSU is dedicated to civic engagement, and this partnership is just one more example of the efforts the university is prepared to make to invest in the surrounding community,” Kastle said.

Gina Smith, director of the Kelly Center, echoed that sentiment. “FHSU prides itself on developing community partnerships, and this opportunity helps achieve that goal. It is important not only to FHSU but to the community as a whole to provide as many services as possible to our veteran population.

“We believe this partnership will provide guidance that will reduce the risk of barriers to the overall physical and emotional well-being of the veteran population,” Smith said.

In order to serve the entire community, the Kelly Center will provide services to all veterans, dependents, and survivors, whether or not they are FHSU students.

“Making the military community stronger will always improve society,” Kastle said. “Whether through civic engagement or contributions to business and industry, the military has much to offer. Helping them build a strong foundation gives them the foundation they need to positively impact their community. »