Blue Star Families & Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation

Blue Star Families

Blue Star Families will receive $746,930 over 3 years to implement the Connected Communities Pilot. The project will focus on creating solutions that address the root cause of military families’ mental health, social, and financial readiness problems - the disconnect and isolation faced by military families living in civilian communities that undermines their well-being across the board.      


Isolation is a documented problem for currently serving military families because they move frequently, often to remote posts far from family and friends, and live a lifestyle very different than their neighbors, including frequent moves and a spouse who is often away on active duty assignments. This isolation is a significant factor in unemployment and underemployment, mental distress, dissatisfaction with military life such that it erodes retention, readiness and recruiting, and in the worse cases can lead to substance abuse, severe depression, and child neglect.


The Connected Communities Pilot is aimed at reducing social isolation and addressing the mental health and well-being of military families. The grant will support the creation of an innovative community model that engages and connects local military families and the civilian community to create a measurable mental health and economic impact in the San Diego, California and New York City Tri-State region military communities.

Project Leader

Tina Atherall,