Ranch & Coast Magazine

June 2022

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COURTESY PHOTOGRAPHY Saving ose Who Serve Horses provide vital therapy to recovering military and medical frontline workers S INCE 2008, CORNERSTONE EQUINE erapy Center has pioneered programs for the military and first responders in San Diego that focus on recovery for service-related PTSD and catastrophic combat casualties. Cornerstone's therapy horses are the bridge that enable its clients to reconnect and re-establish relationships with family and friends, and to re-engage in the daily activities that are often taken for granted. When COVID-19 brought the world to a halt in March 2020, the nonprofit ramped up its efforts knowing there would be a serious spike in depression, stress, anxiety, and sadly, suicide in the populations it serves as well as frontline medical workers. "at was our call to action," says Judy Beckett, Cornerstone's executive director. "We went to work and developed programs to support wounded, ill, and recovering service members, in addition to focusing on frontline medical teams." In August of 2020, the Resiliency Support Command at Naval Medical Center San Diego asked Cornerstone to partner with them to support their doctors and medical staff. e organization invested in the necessary equipment (portable corrals, safety cones, masks, gloves, and other PPE required for safety), trained its horses, staff, and volunteers for off-site visits, and created programs to enable the team to practice social distancing and maintain a safe working environment. e very next month, Cornerstone launched the new program and took nine horses to NMCSD to provide critical support. A thank you letter to Cornerstone written by Captain B.L. Smith, Medical Corps United States Navy Commander reads in part: "Your team's empathetic care and deep compassion for the staff members served on September 30 and October 6, 2020 at Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command San Diego was inspirational and much needed. By bringing the miniature horses to our campus and engaging with our busy personnel at their workplace, you helped our mission by increasing the resiliency of our hospital staff." As the preferred provider for Naval Medical Center San Diego, Cornerstone continues to provide therapy clinics and support to its frontline workers, and serves those at 32nd Street Naval Base as well as other military installations in San Diego. e organization has received congressional as well as local recognition for its service to community. All programs are provided 100 percent free of charge to its clients, and Cornerstone receives no state or federal funding. "We are 95 percent volunteer driven and log 5,000 volunteer hours annually," says Beckett. To help raise funds to support its lifesaving mission, Cornerstone's charity golf tournament presented by the Donegan Burns Foundation takes place on Monday, August 8, at Lomas Santa Fe Country Club. Looking ahead, the Escondido-based organization will be joining the North County coastal community as the Equine erapy Program at Del Mar Horse Park in the coming months. 760.525.2639, judyb@cornerstonetrc.org, cornerstonetrc.org To register to participate in the golf tournament or sign on to sponsor, please use your smartphone to scan this code: Focus philanthropy BY MIA PARK @ranchandcoast ranchandcoast.com 46 JUNE 2022 RANCH & COAST MAGAZINE

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