Dallas, TX Medical City Healthcare, part of HCA Healthcare, today announced HCA Healthcare Foundation’s $600,000 grant to Volunteers of America (VOA) through the Healthier Tomorrow Fund to promote mental wellness and resilience among first responders. Through this contribution, VOA intends to scale its VOA|ReST 4 First Responders program in targeted areas served by HCA Healthcare, including North Texas. 

VOA|ReST 4 First Responders offers a virtual place for first responders to speak openly and honestly with peers about the challenges and impact of their work. The online, one-hour small group sessions are led by trained, peer specialists to help first responders address the extraordinary emotional challenges of their unique workplace stress and trauma. 

“We are proud to support frontline caregivers across the nation and here in North Texas,” says Erol Akdamar, FACHE, president of Medical City Healthcare. “Addressing the mental wellness of emergency personnel, police, firefighters and other first responders is an important example of our steadfast commitment to caring for our community.” 

With the support of the HCA Healthcare Foundation’s Healthier Tomorrow Fund, an $80 million community impact fund focused on addressing high-priority community needs and health equity, VOA will launch a national campaign and peer support service to help an expanded group of first responders, including fire, police, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), hospital and emergency staff process experiences of moral distress and burnout. Locally, the VOA|ReST 4 First Responders program will be carried out by the organization’s regional affiliate, Volunteers of America Texas, headquartered in North Texas. 

“We are grateful to Medical City Healthcare and the HCA Healthcare Foundation for this tremendous investment in the VOA and our efforts to support the mental wellness of first responders,” says Angela King, president and CEO of Volunteers of America Texas. “Through the VOA|ReST 4 First Responders program, we hope to bring meaningful, peer-led support for the unique needs of those on the frontlines.” 

VOA will publish a report in partnership with Texas Christian University on the program’s impact, lessons learned and possible future recommendations. 

As an affiliate of HCA Healthcare, Medical City Healthcare is a leading provider of behavioral and mental health services. In addition to patient care, Medical City Healthcare promotes mental health and wellness for its nurses and caregivers through Nurse Care, a unique, free and confidential mental health program for the needs of HCA Healthcare hospital-based nurses. HCA Healthcare caregivers will also have access to the VOA|ReST 4 First Responders program. 

Since its founding in 1982, the HCA Healthcare Foundation has awarded more than $231 million in grants. In May 2021, HCA Healthcare announced the Healthier Tomorrow Fund, which provides grants to nonprofit organizations in 25 cities where HCA Healthcare has a presence. 

To Participate:

  • First responders who are interested in participating in this free program can go to rest4firstresponders.com to sign up.
  • Representatives from first responder organizations who would like to learn more can contact Ericka English, Director of Marketing & Communications-VOA Texas, at eenglish@voatx.org.