GradImpact: Promoting Lifelong Health and Well-Being of Veterans

    As an Army Veteran, Occupational Therapist, and two-time Olympic Biathlete, Kristina Sabasteanski has an impressive biography and a bit of a competitive streak. She also clearly has a calling to serve. After completing her master’s in occupational therapy at the University of Southern Maine, Sabasteanski started the Veterans Adaptive Sports & Training (VAST) program at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester, Maine with help from the Libra Foundation in May of 2012.

     

    Funded in part by a grant from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the goal of the VAST program is, “to promote lifelong health and well-being of veterans with disabilities through regular participation in a VAST array of physical activities and sports.” While the focus is on veterans with disabilities, any and all veterans are welcome to participate. Research indicates that those with disabilities who get daily exercise experience decreased rates of stress, depression, and secondary medical conditions. In addition, they experience positive benefits, including higher self-esteem and employment rates, educational success, and improved quality of life.

     

    Sabasteanski has also put her own Olympic training experience to use by helping train disabled veterans, including Eric Frazier, to compete in the Paralympic winter games. “It’s nice the knowledge I used 20 years ago can help someone,” Sabasteanski said of helping Frazier tweak his technique. “This is paying it forward.” To learn more about Kristina’s work visit the University of Southern Maine website or VAST.

     

    Visit the GradImpact Feature Gallery to learn more about the amazing, innovative research being done by graduate students and alumni across the world.

     

     

    Photo Credit: University of Southern Maine

     

    The CGS GRADIMPACT project draws from member examples to tell the larger story of graduate education. Our goal is to demonstrate the importance of graduate education not only to degree holders, but also to the communities where we live and work. Do you have a great story to share about the impact of master’s or doctoral education? Visit our WEBSITE for more information.

     

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