Brighton Marine Inc., which provides Veterans and their families with critical healthcare and housing while coordinating resources to support whole health, has named acclaimed nonprofit leader Kristina Kaufmann as its new Chief Executive Officer. In this role, she’ll lead and implement what’s expected to be an expansion of Brighton’s mission to align with the evolving needs of the Veteran community.
Kaufmann’s background includes co-founding and leading a tech-forward nonprofit that helps Veterans and caregivers navigate and access critical services, while also providing one-on-one case coordination support. Kaufmann first became involved in these issues as a wartime Army wife advocating for military families.
Kaufmann says, “It’s an honor to be selected for this important role, and I’m thrilled to be joining the Brighton Marine family. I’m looking forward to applying the experience I’ve gained over the past 11 years, connecting tens of thousands of service members, Veterans, caregivers, and their families to the resources and support they need and have earned. I’m particularly looking forward to getting to know the families we serve and the BMI team as well as expanding partnerships to help scale our impact.”
The Brighton Marine CEO Search Committee led a national exploration for a leader with the passion and skillset who will be able to increase its social impact and support to Veterans in the region. First and foremost, Brighton Marine is helping address the needs of the estimated 33,136 Veterans experiencing homelessness, of which 836 reside in Massachusetts.
Chair Rosye Blancas Cloud says, “Brighton Marine provides hope, help, and community to Veterans and their loved ones. Our newly seated board is committed to expanding and deepening our impact in the area. We recently marked our 41st anniversary, made possible by the support of our community and elected officials. Kristy is the right person to lead the implementation of our upcoming strategic plan and chart the course for our next phase of growth.”
Meeting the Needs of a Changing Veteran Population
Cloud noted that Kaufmann will be the first woman to lead Brighton and Cloud herself is the first woman and Hispanic to serve as board chair; these milestones are occurring as women comprise 10% (2 million) of the Veteran population, which is the fastest-growing group of Veterans. By 2040, it’s estimated women will make up 18% of all living Veterans.
Kaufmann is a nationally recognized expert on the challenges facing Veterans and their families, and has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post and multiple other outlets. She’s a Presidio Institute Fellow, a 2017 SAMHSA Consumer/Peer/Family Leadership Award recipient, and a graduate of the University of California Berkeley.
Brighton: A Veteran Community
Brighton Marine’s services include:
- US Family Health Plan, which is a TRICARE Prime option available to families of active duty military, National Guard, and Reserves, as well as to military retirees and their eligible family members. Brighton Marine is the headquarters for US Family Health Plan of Southern New England.
- Veterans Housing at Brighton Marine, which is an affordable housing facility featuring apartments specifically for vulnerable Boston-area Veterans. It reflects a commitment to rapidly house those without a home and provide necessary supportive services.
- Residences at Brighton Marine, which is the country’s first public and private housing project for Active Duty, Veterans, National Guard, Reservists, and their families; it’s the largest Boston housing project since World War II.
- The Homeless Veterans’ Endowment Fund, which is used to assist Veterans by funding expenses associated with obtaining housing that haven’t been met by public or other financing programs.
At its campus, Brighton Marine also hosts 10 organizations that provide medical care and services for Veterans, retirees, their families, as well as non-military personnel. These organizations include the Steward St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, Brighton-Allston Mental Health Association, Addiction Treatment Center of New England, Neuropsychological Assessment, and the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund.
Together, these organizations provide critical medical care, treatment for patients with dependency issues and other social services to about 2,700 patients and neighborhood residents per week.
Full details about Brighton’s services are available at www.brightonmarine.org/services.