ROCK ISLAND, Illinois–The Quad Cities Community Veterans Engagement Board (CVEB) is under new leadership beginning in April. UnityPoint Health – Trinity formed the military advisory committee in 2016 and it will now be co-chaired by Shane Kern and Sherri Behr DeVrieze, who were chosen to replace outgoing co-chairs Daniel Joiner and retired Major General Yves Fontaine.
Kern, a Navy veteran and vocational rehabilitation specialist with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Davenport, is a long-time member of the CVEB and was instrumental in the success of the Quad Cities Veterans Experience Action Center event in 2019. His passion for veterans and his community runs deep, volunteering much of his free time to organizations such as Remember the Fallen, Byron Hills Fore Heroes, Foster’s Voice, and QC Honor Flight.
“It is an honor to be considered for such a position,” says Kern, co-chair, QC CVEB. “We look forward to continuing the high standards that Major General Fontaine and Daniel have set for all of us to uphold. I look forward to working with the CVEB team and the veterans of the Quad Cities area.”
Behr DeVrieze, the mother of a Special Forces veteran, is a 13-year employee of UnityPoint Health – Trinity, serving in marketing and communications, community outreach, events development, project management and currently as the community health and military program coordinator. She previously served as the city of Bettendorf’s first female police officer and as a private investigator. Sherri has 12 years of experience serving military members and veterans through fundraising and events development.
Joiner, who was recently chosen to be the new Chief Diversity Officer for UnityPoint Health system in Des Moines, and Fontaine of Fontaine Consulting, who will remain a member of the CVEB, have left the collaborative strategically well-placed to continue the work into the future. Under their leadership, the collaboration has grown to more than 40 members, curated a resource guide, created a three-year strategic plan, worked with the VA to clarify processes for inter-facility patient transfers, and hosted the first-in-the-region Veterans Experience Action Center event, which served more than 600 veterans.
“As we celebrate six years of the collaborative this month and look to the next six years, I want to thank the committee members for their work,” says Sherri Behr DeVrieze, co-chair, QC CVEB. “The strength of the committee is its people and the expertise each brings to the table. We are sincerely grateful for the continued dedication of the compassionate individuals who make up the team. A special thank you to Co-Chairs Major General Fontaine and Daniel, who have helped guide us through all of those years with a constant focus on our mission to serve veterans.”
The CVEB designation by the VA occurred in 2018 due to the collaborative work being done in the Quad Cities related to serving veterans. The goal of the CVEB is to support veterans and their families so that no veteran falls through the cracks. Strategic objectives include service provider training, resource development, education and awareness, and engagement.
For more information about the work of the CVEB, contact [email protected].