HEART 9/11, Benson-Henry Institute, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital are collaborating on the development of a first responder wellness program. In late 2014 HEART 9/11 was requested to help the Newtown police department in their wellness recovery from the effects of the Sandy Hook School shooting. HEART 9/11 assembled 6 teams of 2 members to respond to Newtown for one year (2015). HEART 9/11 had a team of responders present in Newtown for 4-5 days a week, 16 hours a day. HEART 9/11 implemented the program that had been designed by Dr. Spencer Eth, MD during our 9/11 recovery. We were assisted in our Newtown police program by the Child Study Team/Responder Team at Yale University in the persons of Dr. Steve Marans and Dr. Steven Southwick. This initial phase of the program rollout was extremely successful in helping the Newtown officers in recognizing issues that were affecting them, their jobs, their families and their communities. HEART 9/11 further recruited Newtown police officers to assist us in rebuilding homes for severely injured US veterans that have returned with visible and invisible wounds. These acts of altruism demonstrate the fuller recovery of the Newtown officers.
• Developed a first responder wellness program with the Benson-Henry Institute (BHI) for Mind Body Medicine and Massachusetts General Hospital for first responders.
• 8 HEART 9/11 facilitators and 9 Newtown police officers received the HEART SMART Program training and beta test training. Those nine Newtown Police members will train other first responders
• Bill Keegan, Founder/President HEART 9/11 was a keynote speaker at the Benson-Henry Institute Annual Mind Body conference at Harvard Medical School. BHI was proud to feature members from HEART 9/11 who discussed Altruism as a pathway to recovery.
• Working with the CT Police Chiefs Association Wellness Committee and the Police Regional Peer to Peer Group to cultivate our hard-learned lessons and strategies that have been demonstrated through evidence based science and the experiences of first responders
• In discussion with Robert Wood Johnson Medical School – Rutgers University to expand the first responder wellness program which includes members from the FDNY counseling unit