Ala. Veterans Affairs announced new leader for well-being projects

Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 7:12 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs (ADVA) announced Sissy Louise Moore as its new Veterans well-being program manager.

She will serve as primary ADVA coordinator for Alabama’s Challenge for Preventing Suicide among Service Members, Veterans, and their Families (SMVF) and will coordinate and manage other programs that support Veterans well-being. These programs include substance use and homeless Veterans issues, AlaVetNet initiatives, and other Veteran outreach services related projects or events.

With September serving as National Suicide Prevention Month, ADVA is especially focused on Veterans suicide prevention through the Alabama’s Challenge for Preventing Suicide Among SMVF.

Approximately 17 Veterans die by suicide per day. According to ADVA, in Alabama, the Veteran suicide rate is even higher than the national Veteran average and significantly higher than the national civilian average.

The most recently released data shows nearly 18% of those who died by suicide in Alabama are Veterans, though only 9.1% of Alabamians have served. Male Veterans die by suicide at a rate 1.3 times civilian counters, and for women Veterans it is 2.1 times higher.

“As a widow of a Veteran, Veterans know better than anyone else the price of freedom, for they’ve suffered the scars of war,” Moore said. “Our Veterans have given their best for all of us and we must continue to do our best by them. We can offer them no better tribute than to protect what they have done for us. That is our duty.”

Moore joins ADVA after spending the last eight years as the University of South Alabama Mitchell Cancer Institute’s Oncology Navigation Advocate, linking physicians, patients, and family members to education, support, and community resources. She also developed and implemented “LIVING WELL... Life After Cancer,” a series of health education programs to support patients transitioning to survivorship. Earlier in her career, Moore implemented three pilot community health programs through South Alabama’s Regional Planning Commission’s Area Agency on Aging grants from the U.S. Administration on Aging.

“We can’t say enough about our excitement for Sissy Louise to join our team. Her background and expertise are exactly what we’ve needed for our Veterans well-being programs,” said ADVA Commissioner Kent Davis. “I cannot stress enough the importance of tackling issues like Veterans suicide, substance use and homelessness. We’re serious about addressing these issues and directing Alabama’s Veterans who might be facing these challenges to great resources statewide. Sissy Louise will be a substantial benefit with these initiatives.”

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