Tanya Lynn Wilson-Thomas serves as one of the Core 4 Whole Health Coordinators for the Department of Veterans' Services' Whole Health & Resilience Team at DVS. In this role, she is responsible for leading the C4 Clinical Domain for the Core4 Whole Health Model and is the main point of contact for the DVS Caregivers partnership with the Senator Elizabeth Dole Foundation Hidden Heroes Campaign. She will connect veterans, their caregivers and family members to much needed clinical services in the community to ensure ever increasing quality of life for these families.
Thomas has extensive experience assisting veterans and their families with understanding the need for seeking clinical/therapeutic care, programs and resources which will help them and their families move through the stages of moral injury, survivor guilt, depression and grief. Thomas' experience began with her husband, Dwight A. Thomas, Sr., who was a Sergeant in the Marine Corp stationed at Cherry Point Naval Air Station. He sustained a brain injury at the age of 23 while his unit was on emergency standby, waiting to deploy to the Persian Gulf. Thomas, her husband and their two small children struggled through his illness, retirement from service, their long journey through recovery (mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually) and subsequent sudden death from his illness eight years later.
Moving through the stages of grief, Thomas is a Gold Star Wife who uses this journey as inspiration to tirelessly work in the field of veterans' advocacy to make certain military families have an easier time accessing and obtaining resources to make smooth transitions with life issues.
Thomas attended Norfolk State University where she served as Veterans Club President, organizing student community service events at Hampton Veterans Hospital's nursing home and traumatic brain injury units. She created and spearheaded the volunteer sign up drive for NSU students to receive their volunteer badges at Hampton Veterans Hospital in Virginia and also served on several committees and groups at her church, including singing on the Praise & Worship Team. Thomas' previous employment includes working for the Archdiocese of New York's Catholic Charities Community Services where she was the senior Home Base Case Manager in the Resource Room at the Department of Homeless Services PATH Family Intake in the Bronx, NY. One of her many responsibilities at PATH, as a member of Veterans' Services, was that she diligently contributed to maintaining the Mayor's Functional Zero veteran homelessness in New York City. Thomas has vast experience working with veterans, families and caregivers. She worked in Intake Services at the VA Vet Center in Norfolk, Virginia and volunteered at the Hampton Veterans Hospital in Virginia. In 2010 Thomas relocated from Virginia Beach, Virginia back to NY to become legal guardian to her deceased aunt's two minor children, both now college graduates.
Thomas is a certified Peer Mentor for military widows at the Tragedy Assistance Program for Military Survivors (TAPS) and has worked in Chaplain Services as a volunteer at St. Albans Community Living Center VA in Queens, NY. While unemployed she proudly volunteered at St. Albans VA three days a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday to honor the days her husband spent putting his life back together in therapy at the VA Hospital in Virginia. Thomas is a graduate of The Grace Institute for Women and was the first graduate of Grace Institute's Commitment Partnership with Clinton Global Initiative to make a concerted effort to market the program to female veterans and their female family members. Thomas currently sits on The Grace Institute Alumnae Advisory Board. Thomas also served as Legacy Committee Co-Chair for the David and Dovetta Wilson Scholarship Fund.
Thomas lives in Queens where she attributes her ongoing healing to her faith. She enjoys spending time doing various activities with her large family and her friends. Thomas and her husband had two children, both now adults. Her daughter is a graduate of Virginia Common University in Virginia and now lives in Queens, and her son serves in theUnited States Air Force, stationed in Germany with his wife and their five year old daughter. Thomas enjoys singing, reading, bowling, karaoke, and fellowship at Greater Allen African Methodist Episcopal Cathedral Church in Queens, NY.