Tom Werner to receive high honor from United States Army

Red Sox Chairman to receive "Outstanding Civilian Service Award" for spearheading the creation of the Home Base Program

BOSTON, MA - Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner will receive one of the highest honors bestowed upon civilians by the United States Army Chief of Staff tomorrow, Thursday, October 30, when he is presented with the Army's Outstanding Civilian Service Award. The prestigious award recognizes Werner's innovation and leadership in the creation of the Home Base Program, one of the nation's only private sector clinics dedicated to helping Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families heal from post traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury, "the invisible wounds of war." 

Werner is one of four recipients to receive the award. Other recipients include Tom Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Suni Harford, Citigroup's Managing Director and Regional Head of Markets in North America; and Bob Woodruff of The Bob Woodruff Foundation.

The United States Army's Chief of Staff, General Raymond T. Odierno, will present the award at a special ceremony and dinner at the Pentagon. The Outstanding Civilian Service Award is given to a select few each year who have shown an outstanding contribution to soldiers and their families.

Werner's idea to create the Home Base Program followed the Red Sox' second visit to Walter Reed Medical Center after being honored at the White House in 2008. As a child, Werner had experienced the traumatic effect of war on his father, and was inspired to do more for the veterans and their families, who were also affected. In partnership with Massachusetts General Hospital, the Red Sox Foundation, of which Werner is also Chairman, has raised or donated $16.5 million of the $22 million collected over the past five years.

To date, well over 1,000 post 9/11 veterans and military family members from all over New England have received clinical care or support through the program. 

"Since 2008, Tom Werner's efforts on behalf of Home Base and the veterans and family members we serve have been tireless, steadfast, and utterly critical to the success of the program," said Brigadier General (ret) Jack Hammond, Executive Director of the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program. "His commitment to serve those who served us has made Home Base an enduring lifeline to this generation of veterans and their families, and is an example for other business leaders who wish to serve our country as civilians."

The National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare projects that an estimated 40 percent of veterans will receive care outside the VA Healthcare System in 2014. Home Base serves as a resource for both veterans and their families who choose to receive care outside the VA health care system, or are not covered by the VA or any governmental program.

It was also Werner's vision to have Iraq and Afghanistan veterans be part of the Home Base clinical team. Today, when a veteran calls Home Base, the first person they speak to is another veteran.

This year, over 2,600 runners and walkers, including 500 actively serving military members, gathered at Fenway Park to participate in the 5th annual Run to Home Base, a 9K run and 3 mile walk that starts and ends in Fenway Park. Runners have a timed finish at the iconic Green Monster and a "photo finish" at home plate, where they are greeted by members of the military as well as leaders from the Boston Red Sox and Massachusetts General Hospital. The event has raised more than $11 million over the past five years.

In 2014, Home Base received a $1 million grant from the McCormick Foundation and Major League Baseball and was also chosen as one of 22 organizations in Massachusetts to be funded through a grant from the Office of Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley. Home Base was also selected as a 2014 Wounded Warrior Project grant recipient.

The McCormick Foundation grant and the grant from the Office of the Attorney General will support the establishment of a national Home Base Training Institute, which will train clinicians and first responders to identify and treat the invisible wounds of war in post 9/11 veterans and their families and improve access to clinical care in community, non VA settings.

Starting this year, Home Base is expanding its clinical treatments beyond PTS and TBI to include other invisible wounds of war, including depression, substance abuse, and individual and family stress. Planning is underway to develop a 14-day intensive treatment option to address these complex needs and enable greater access to care.