May 14, 2018

MFRI at Purdue University releases research and showcases innovative tool to support service members, veterans and families

WASHINGTON, D.C. —  The Military Family Research Institute (MFRI) at Purdue University and the Purdue Center for Regional Development on Monday (May 14) unveiled a ground-breaking report “Measuring Our Communities: The State of Veteran and Military Families in the United States.”

The report was launched at an event in Washington, D.C., hosted at the Booz Allen Hamilton Innovation Center.  It unveils rich and specific data on the state of military-connected individuals across the country, focusing on topics such as employment, education, mental health and legal needs. The event also highlighted an exceptional online data tool created by MFRI and the Purdue Center for Regional Development (PCRD) called Measuring Communities. The tool allows service providers and professionals nationwide to make data-driven decisions when it comes to serving the unique needs of service members, veterans and their families by providing localized data.

Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, MFRI director and Purdue professor of human development and family studies, said the Measuring Communities report represents a starting place from which communities and organizations can track change, monitor evolving needs and opportunities, and focus their time, effort and resources.

“The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan now stretch well into their second decade and have produced a new generation of veterans who bring great assets to communities, and sometimes have unique requirements,” MacDermid Wadsworth said. “It is essential that we optimize our ability to make smart decisions about how to support those who serve our nation, as well as their families. We hope that organizations everywhere will use today’s report and our Measuring Communities tool to access the data they need to support military and veteran families in the most effective and efficient way possible.”

The Measuring Communities tool, already used by more than 60 organizations, enables real-time data analysis across a range of issues offering rich and nuanced data points about military-connected individuals in the communities in which they live. Those who wish to utilize the tool can register for access by visiting

About MFRI

The Military Family Research Institute (MFRI) at Purdue University conducts research on issues that affect military and veteran families and works to shape policies, programs and practices that improve their well-being. Founded in 2000, MFRI envisions a diverse support community that understands the most pressing needs of military and veteran families. To achieve this, MFRI collaborates to create meaningful solutions for them. This nationally recognized organization is located in Purdue University’s College of Health and Human Sciences, in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. 

About the Purdue Center for Regional Development

The Purdue Center for Regional Development (PCRD) seeks to pioneer new ideas and strategies that contribute to regional collaboration, innovation and prosperity. Founded in 2005, the Center partners with public, private, nonprofit and philanthropic organizations to identify and enhance the key drivers of innovation in regions across Indiana, the U.S. and beyond. These drivers include a vibrant and inclusive civic leadership, a commitment to collaboration, and the application of advanced data support systems to promote sound decision-making and the pursuit of economic development investments that build on the competitive assets of regions 

Media contact: Linda Hughes-Kirchubel, 765-494-2962 or 765-430-9594

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