SAN DIEGO (Nov. 23, 2010) Commander Naval Region Southwest Rear Adm. William Douglas French (left) and Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) Director for Health Care Business Capt. Theodore Briski (right) stand outside the office of the new budget counseling as Diane Thompson (inside left) and Linda Rebber (inside right) prepare to cut the ribbon. The budget counseling is a new, first of its kind program started by the Navy Marine Corps. Society at NMCSD. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Joseph A. Boomhower/Released)
SAN DIEGO - The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) welcomed a first-of-its-kind Budget Counseling Program at Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) Nov. 23.
NMCRS celebrated the new program with a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony held in the NMCSD Armed Services YMCA office. The program’s primary objective is to provide wounded, ill and injured service members and NMCSD active duty staff and family members with spending plans and basic budgets.
The Budget Counseling Program was suggested by the Marine Wounded Warrior Battalion West (WWBn-W), NMCSD Detachment, and is part of a satellite office attached to Naval Base San Diego.
Barry White, director of NMCRS San Diego, coordinated with WWBn-W and hospital leadership to start the program. Led by Andrea Graves, Navy Medicine West special assistant for healthcare resolutions, and the hospital staff, the program was able to establish the budget counseling program.
Budget counseling is performed by NMCRS case workers who are trained in how to create a spending plan, know what resources are available in the San Diego area and how to connect with service members. Currently there are two fully trained NMCRS volunteer case workers at NMCSD with four more in the training pipeline.
Commander, Naval Region Southwest Rear Adm. William D. French participated in the program’s grand opening.
“This is a world-class hospital with world-class volunteers who provide services to world-class Sailors,” said French. Budget Counseling Program Manager Diane Thompson is part of the staff available to assist with budget planning.
“I’m not just doing it for them, I am teaching them to do it for themselves,” said Thompson.
There are currently appointments set aside for the WWBn-W, NMCSD Det., on Thursdays and Fridays. The office does have the ability to see additional clients on Wednesdays by appointment.
Budget counseling is a part of the comprehensive recovery program provided for Navy and Marine Corps service members. Marines and Sailors can be referred to the budget counseling program through WWBn-W detachment or from Recovery Care Coordinators. NMCSD active duty staff and family members should contact the budget counseling department directly for an appointment.
NMCRS is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to assist Sailors, Marines and their families in time of need.
The budget counseling program is one of many services offered by the NMCRS; other services include interest free loans and grants, visiting nurse services, thrift shops, infant layettes and food lockers.
In the coming months, the program hopes to expand their services as demand requires for active duty hospital staff.
“All the programs and services were designed to meet the needs of Sailors and their families,” said White. “We are here to serve those who serve our country.”
To set up an appointment with the Budget Counseling program, call: 532-8168. http://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmcsd/Pages/default.aspx http://www.nmcrs.org/