The Healthcare Pillar mission is to strengthen the Atlanta veteran community by providing knowledge, connecting resources, and informing latest trends and best practices about healthcare to veterans, veteran advocates, veteran caregivers, veteran healthcare providers, and veteran employers to aid in:
- Maintaining physical and mental health
- Improving physical and mental health
- Identifying healthcare needs
- Accessing healthcare services
Jackie Breitenstein, Shepherd Center & Co-Director of the Healthcare Pillar
Jackie Breitenstein is the Clinical Program Manager for the SHARE Military Initiative at Shepherd Center. The SHARE Military Initiative provides comprehensive rehabilitation for post-9/11 active duty and separated service members with diagnoses and/or symptoms of mild Traumatic Brain Injuries and co-occurring mental health issues (such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, etc). Services at SHARE are provided at no cost to the service member. Each client receives an average of 12 weeks of comprehensive treatment followed by one year of transition support from a Life Coach who will travel to the homes and communities of clients once they return home from SHARE. In her role, Jackie oversees the daily operations, clinicians, and clients with the SHARE program. Jackie has been employed at the Shepherd Center since 2009, and provided case management and transition support services to patients after discharging to their home communities until her position with SHARE in 2014. In addition to her role at SHARE, Jackie serves on the Board of the Atlanta VA Mental Health Advocacy Council.
Prior to working at Shepherd, Jackie worked in the field of adolescent behavioral health for 7 years. She was the Recreation Therapy/Activities Supervisor at the United Methodist Children’s Home in Decatur for 5 years, and a Recreation Therapist at Inner Harbour/Youth Villages in Douglasville for 2 years.
Jackie has a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Master’s Degree in Recreation Therapy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Beau Chatham, Co-Director of the Healthcare Pillar
As a former college athlete, 3-time TBI survivor, combat veteran, and medical industry educator, Beau Chatham brings a unique perspective to the healing of today’s military veterans returning home.
In 2004, Beau took an inventory of his “personal rucksack”, after reading Dr. Charles Hoge’s groundbreaking study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that highlighted the staggering rates of PTSD and TBI in our combat forces engaged in the war on terror. He realized that many of the solutions being offered were ineffective. This was evidenced by the skyrocketing suicide rate of our service members. Having spent the prior 12 years articulating disease states to patients and physicians in the medical industry (and being able to “speak fluent Infantry”), he began sketching an outline of what he had learned in his 10-year military career as an Infantry officer, as well as his civilian experiences in the medical arena.
Beau learned early as a civilian that evidence-based methodologies offered the best means of providing a reasonable and predictable result in therapeutic approaches. As a former Airborne Ranger, he also understood that warriors excel with processes and procedures that they can learn quickly through demonstration and rehearsal.
In 2009, Beau established Warrior Life Coach®, an executive coaching practice, to offer transitioning combat veterans an alternative solution to the challenges they faced in a post-combat world. To date, he boasts a 46% reduction in suicidal ideation, along with improvements in relationship satisfaction and improved overall emotional states in combat veterans diagnosed with PTSD/TBI.
His coaching practice currently serves individual military veterans and first responder clients in the Atlanta area. He also serves as the Peer Liaison to the SHARE Military Initiative at Shepherd Center, has provided his services into Cobb County Veterans Court, Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation, and the Family Warrior Weekend (a Camp Twin Lakes retreat for military/veteran families affected by post 9-11 combat operations).
Beau holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from The University of Mississippi, is a certified personal trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine, and is a Master Life Coach with The Burris Institute. He is currently pursuing his accreditation as a Certified Brain Injury Specialist, which he will complete in June of 2017. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Smyrna Public Safety Foundation and on the Board of Advisors to the Warrior Bonfire Program.
He and his wife Jackie currently live in Smyrna, where they enjoy cycling, travel, great food, and live music.