Monday, September 21, 2015

Veterans Administration psychologist, providing services on campus

Lynn Tokumine, Psy.D., is on board full time in the Hawai‘i Pacific University Military/Veterans Center, providing mental health services to the university’s student veterans. The Veterans Administration (VA) Pacific Islands Health Care System and HPU entered into a three-year agreement this summer, appointing Tokumine as the Veterans Integration to Academic Leadership Coordinator (VITAL) for HPU beginning with the Fall 2015 semester.

Tokumine’s office is located in UB 912 (1164 Bishop, Finance Factors building), and she is available to provide psychotherapy to student veterans Mondays through Thursdays from 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. Student veterans are welcome to stop by or call her at (808) 763-7470 or email for an appointment.  She is also available to faculty and staff to address their questions regarding student veterans.

The VITAL program is a national VA initiative, which as of this summer is serving 100 college and university campuses across 23 medical centers. The mission of the program is to provide world-class healthcare and improve the overall mental health of veterans, while supporting their successful integration into college and university campuses through: promotion of positive cohesion between veterans and the entire learning community; seamless access to VA healthcare services and on-campus clinical counseling; and providing efficient care coordination of all available services.

Tokumine is the second, full-time imbedded Veterans Administration employee, joining the HPU Military/Veterans Center. Gwen Dang, who is a vocational rehabilitation and employment counselor through the VetSuccess on Campus program, has been working with HPU veteran students since Fall 2013.

Tom Flores, Director of the Military/Veterans Center, encourages HPU veteran students to seek the services offered by Tokumine and Dang.

“We first had our VetSuccess on Campus staffer, Gwen, who traditionally helped students needing assistance get back on track,” said Flores. “Now students are able to see Lynn on campus, which alleviates them from having to go to Tripler.”   

Additionally, Flores wants HPU students, who are veterans or family members of military personnel, to fully utilize the Military/Veterans Center itself.    

“If veterans or military personnel or dependents need help with understanding how to use their education benefits, we can brief them and help with the HPU application process,” said Flores. “And once they’re accepted we can point them in the direction to get started with registration or advising.” 

The Military/Veterans Center, 1164 Bishop St, Ste. 912, is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is a lounge and study areas and coffee service offered to the university’s military/veteran students. 

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