Bulletin Board

Debbie Deegan and Dr. Laurie Harkness

Debbie Deegan Appointed new Director of Errera Community Care Center 

Debbie Deegan, LCSW, ACSW, CPRP  is a social worker who is the Director of the Errera Community Care Center at VA Connecticut Healthcare System, andis an Assistant Clinical Professor at Yale’s Medical School.  The Errera Center is a nationally known psychosocial rehabilitation & recovery center that encompasses fourteen programs among which include the Intensive Community Mental Health Recovery Services; a Wellness Center; Therapeutic & Supportive Employment Services, Homeless Services and Psychosocial Rehabilitation & Recovery Center programs; in addition to a Psychosocial Rehabilitation Fellowship site.  The ECCC also houses a Medical Legal Partnership, a non-profit law clinic that services the ECCC’s eligible Veterans.  Debbie’s VA career spans almost 30 years and she has been a front line clinician, administrator, educator, presenter of recovery-oriented programs and initiatives and an innovator during her tenure thus far.  She supports innovative recovery programs and helped to usher in the Peer Specialists into all the ECCC programs.  She has watched the growth of these programs over the years and is honored to have been a part of the evolution.


Announcing New Habitat for Heroes Homeowner  Click Here

An Interview of Candace L. True, NAMI Connections Trainer Click Here

An Interview of Paula Sievers Click Here

Vietnam War Veteran Moe Armstrong Receives Medals

Moe Armstrong
Photo by Barry Braman

Click here for the video

A Veterans Day Experience By Ray Spurr Click Here

Libraries As A Resource For Vetera


Updated December 2016

This site is maintained by Veterans and Volunteers. While the contents of this site have been developed in cooperation with VA personnel, it is not an official site of the Department of Veteran's Affairs

Dr. Laurie Harkness retires as Head of Errera Community Care Center 

Dr. Harkness tirelessly served Veterans as a dedicated VA employee beginning in 1977, starting her career as a staff social worker on the Mental Health Brief Treatment Unit.  Since then Dr. Harkness consistently took on increased responsibilities and leadership roles: supervisor,  principal investigator; clinical instructor; Director of Programs including Case Management Services and the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders Clinic; serving on VA and community advisory boards  to benefit  Veterans and serving as the Director of the Errera Community Care Center (ECCC), a nationally recognized psychosocial rehabilitation and recovery facility.  

Dr. Harkness spent her entire VA career serving Veterans and their families who experience mental health issues, substance abuse and/or homelessness.  She believes that Veterans can live full and rich lives despite the struggles that they may have.  She championed the development of progressive recovery programs that provide psychosocial rehabilitation services to our Veterans.  Dr. Harkness’s visionary perspective was the catalyst for the development of the ECCC and its programs.  Her ability to partner with Veterans, families, community agencies, political leaders, and VA colleagues, allowed her to develop some of the richest and highest quality psychosocial rehabilitation programs in the country, always with stakeholder input.  Her skill in collaborating with the community resulted in the development of housing programs for thousands of formerly homeless Veterans throughout Connecticut.

The ECCC, with its focus on rehabilitation, recovery and consumer leadership, is nationally recognized as an exceptional model of care that effectively combines clinical programs with community partnerships.  Under Dr. Harkness’s leadership, the ECCC was awarded status as a VA Center of Excellence for the Care of Individuals with Mental Illness and designated as the model for rehabilitation services in VA’s Veterans Integrated Service Network One.  Dr. Harkness is well published in the areas of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Psychosocial Rehabilitation.  She is the recipient of numerous local, state and national awards and recognitions. In 1999, Dr. Harkness received the Olin E. Teague Award, the highest VA clinical award given for her work in the rehabilitation of war injured veterans.  In 2000, she was the recipient of the Connecticut Disabled American Veteran’s Commander’s Award for her service to Connecticut’s veterans, and inducted as an honorary member of Connecticut Veterans Who Care Committee.  In 2005, she received the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) Community Provider of the Year Award---the first non-MD and first VA employee to be so honored.  In 2011, she was honored with the Liberty Bell Award by the New Haven County Bar Foundation for her work with the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center.  In 2013, she was the VA Under Secretary for Health’s Awardee for Excellence in Social Work Leadership. On numerous occasions she has been recognized by Vietnam Veterans of America for her service and dedication to Vietnam veterans and their families.    

Dr. Harkness lectures both nationally and internationally, and regularly consults to other mental health systems around the provision of integrated community based mental health care.  In addition, Dr. Harkness is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine.

Introducing Cynthia Hobbs - My HealtheVet Volunteer

Cynthia is a My HealtheVet Volunteer who comes to the center Tuesday and Thursday 8:30 am - 11:30 am. and has info for veterans about My Healthy Vet Program.

“My HealtheVet is an online personal health record that empowers Veterans to become informed partners in their own health care.  With My HealtheVet, Veterans can access trusted, secure, and current health and benefit information, as well as record and store important health and military history information at their convenience. “

If you are a registered user with an upgraded My HealtheVet account you will have access to:

-        Blue Button a report function where you can select to view, print, download or save parts of your personal health information.

-        Secure Messaging which allows you to ask questions and communicate with your health team online between appointments.

-        VA Prescriptions online renew your VA prescriptions and have them mailed to you. (PHARMACY tab)

-        VA Lab Tests and Results including Radiology reports. (TRACK HEALTH tab)

-        VA Appointments both past and future. (GET CARE tab)

-        VA Progress Notes. (Blue Button)

-        VA Allergies and Adverse Reactions log. (TRACK HEALTH tab - Health History)

-        VA Wellness Reminders cancer screenings, flu vaccine, cholesterol etc. (GET CARE tab)

-        Research Health where you can research topics of interest.

-        Track Health where you can create food and activity Journals, keep track of your vitals and readings (weight, blood pressure, BMI, blood sugar etc.)

-        My Goals create and track personal goals. (TRACK HEALTH tab)

-        Personal Information tab allows you to update your profile, download your information using BLUE BUTTON,  change your password and update emergency contacts

I volunteer to sign folks up for My HealtheVet here at ECCC every Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30a to 11:30a. I can authenticate/upgrade accounts to allow complete access to all My HealtheVet has to offer. I answer questions, teach you how to use it, offer tips and tricks and help recover forgotten User Ids and passwords. How much you use My HealtheVet is up to you. Tailor your account to meet your own health care needs. Registering and using My HealtheVet is easy and it’s free! Stop by to see me and get your upgraded account today!