June 13, 2019

Pack Your Bags. No, Wait, It’s Online Now!

Five coworkers of different races, genders, and ages looking at screen togetherOur new online Continuing Education Center is open, and the first course is live. It’s our exciting new interactive Warrior Stories training.

Online training is not just another thing we’re doing – it’s fundamental. We have always tried to hold a number of trainings every year – to share what we know, and empower others. But we’re a small shop. Maybe so are you. And even in our largest military establishments, or in a major medical center, the number of people in a specific area, and the resources available vs. the work to be done, can be dauntingly not enough.

The world is demanding that more things be available online, and that is especially true for the types of organizations we serve. When staff doing service work take time out of their day to attend a workshop or seminar, that’s time they must take away from patients, clients, and their mission in order to take that course. And that’s a day, or a morning, they’re not seeing reimbursement, to say nothing of the planning, logistics, and travel involved. Making courses available online cuts out all that.

Online also means no more daylong or all-morning sessions. Where before we might have done a four-hour training, now it’s broken up into modules. This way it can be part of your ongoing process, allowing you to work modules into the spurts of time they actually have.

Going online is rooted in what we care about. At our in-person trainings, people would come up afterwards, usually with a very specific question about a challenge they are trying to solve. That empowerment makes them able to do things for their client that they weren’t able to do before, and advocate knowledgably and powerfully for that person. Through training we have had providers recognize military sexual trauma in their clients, overturn Medicare penalties, and win Social Security benefits cases that they previously wouldn’t even have appealed.

We’ve done transformative trainings for military victim advocates, social services providers, homeless service providers who are SAMHSA grantees, community health centers, the Chicago Housing Authority, and Chicago Public Schools. We’re hoping our online courses bring that power to more people, helping them use that knowledge for good. And we want to diversify who we’re reaching. For example, online we can work with independent providers who might not be able to attend a class if they don’t have an organization that can send them, or can’t find someone to cover for them.

And of course, we’re a nonprofit, mission-driven organization. So people taking our courses are not only learning, but also supporting our ability to build and sustain new, innovative programs to promote health and well-being.

This has been a long-held dream of ours, and we’re excited that it’s becoming a reality. Interested?  Take the course online


See more posts on veterans issues

Keep up with the latest from Smart Policy Works
Explore 25 years of change that mattered
Take a look at what we're up to now