PLATINUM2024

WAVE ACADEMY

Healing Through Water: Aquatic Therapy for Veterans

aka HEALING WAVE AQUATICS   |   San Diego, CA   |  www.healingwaveaquatics.org

Mission

The mission of Healing Waves Aquatics is to support individual wellness and management of complex stress through aquatic therapy.

Ruling year info

2011

Executive Director

Elizabeth Berg

Main address

2657 Ariane Dr

San Diego, CA 92117 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Wave Academy

EIN

36-4690777

NTEE code info

Public, Society Benefit - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (W99)

Public Health Program (E70)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

San Diego has the fourth highest population of veterans in the country at 217,000 veterans (US Census, 2021). Unfortunately, many veterans develop Post Traumatic Stress. There are 25,000 veterans in San Diego County who struggle with PTS, and 11,000 of those have symptoms that are debilitating to their everyday life (VA, 2018). Thousands of these veterans are living below the median income. Prohibiting veterans from access to many quality healthcare options. Low to moderate-income veterans, active-duty military, and their caregivers receive our 8-week program at no charge. The program includes 8 one-hour sessions of guided movement with a licensed practitioner. Clients describe two significant outcomes: greater trust (in themselves and others) and increased calm (both physically and mentally).

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Aquatic Therapy Program

Wave Academy’s Aquatic Therapy Program uses the properties of water—including warmth, buoyancy and fluid movements — to help clients heal from physical, mental and other traumas. In Wave Academy’s treatment modality, the recipient is immersed in 96-degree water, where a licensed aquatic practitioner supports and gently guides them through graceful, fluid movements while applying pressure to specific points on the body and lightly massaging muscles. The results are often profound and immediate. Aquatic therapy is known to provide: 1) Reduced stress and anxiety; 2) Better sleep; 3) Minimized physical pain, joint compression and muscle tension; 4) Profound sense of calm and well-being; 5) Decrease in emotional pain; 6) Decreased heart rate and rate of respiration; 6) Decreased dependency on pain medication; 7) Enhanced immune system response.

Results from our pre- and post-tests show that the warm water therapy measurably reduces the debilitating symptoms of post-traumatic stress. Over the past three years, our data consistently shows that PTS symptoms decrease by an average of 25 percent after our 8-week program. This has meant improved sleep, decreased pain, lower levels of anxiety and a better quality of life for veterans and their families.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
Military personnel

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of veterans who report a decrease in depression

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Aquatic Therapy Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of veterans with PTSD served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Aquatic Therapy Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Almost all of 2020's clients stopped their program and finished it in 2021. Our program was closed for 6 months total during COVID-19 closures in San Diego County.

Average percent decrease in PTS Symptoms between pre-and-post assessments

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Aquatic Therapy Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Number represents the decrease in PTS symptoms. (25 means the client had -25%)

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Healing Wave Aquatics' goal is to support the mental and emotional well-being of veterans, active-duty service members, and their caregivers with PTS in San Diego County by reducing PTS symptoms. Through the course of the 8-week program, the outcome goal is that at least 90% of clients will experience a statistically significant decline in PTS symptoms as measured by the VA-approved PCL-M pre-and post-assessment scale by 20-25%. We anticipate the following results of improved mental and behavioral health: depression, isolation, and sleeplessness will decrease; while feelings of peace, the release of physical and mental tension, stress management, coping skills, and relationships with loved ones will improve and increase as a result of our trauma-informed aquatic therapy.

Healing Wave Aquatics employs the following strategies to deliver best practices and an impactful program for active-duty military and veterans:

- Manage Healing Wave Aquatics operations utilizing non-profit sector best practices, including transparency of financials, updated policies, current protocols in behavior health for working with clients who have experienced trauma, highest standards for pool safety, liability insurance on all pools, practitioner audits to maintain the highest level of service, up-to-date contractor licenses, and client confidentiality.

- Conduct our warm water therapy program in conjunction with research-based protocols for an appropriate program length and employment of approved measurement and screening tools.

- Consistent follow-up with clients to help determine short-term, mid-term, and long-range outcomes from warm water therapy that begin with positive personal changes and extend to improved relationships with family members and children, as well as job prospects and contributing to their community.

- Prudent financial management that includes several layers of oversight of transactions and record keeping.

- Establishment of a financial strategy that provides at least 3 months of unrestricted liquid net assets (ULNA) in order to keep the organization solvent at all times.

- Fundraising strategies that include income from multiple sources, including grants, individual contributions, events, co-payments, and sponsorship.

- Diverse board leadership that draws from various sectors of the community, including psychology, finance, partnership building, fundraising, and military/veteran connections.

- Partnerships with community organizations, businesses, and research institutions to address the benefits of aquatic therapy as a modality for helping relieve trauma.

Healing Wave Aquatics is highly capable and qualified to provide aquatic therapy services to individuals who have suffered trauma, particularly the veteran and active-duty military community. Among the organization’s capabilities are:

- In-depth knowledge of aquatic bodywork therapy

- Long-term relationships with licensed aquatic bodywork practitioners

- Access to several pools throughout San Diego County

- Strong connections to the military family community

- Partnerships with numerous local organizations including:
- 2-1-1 San Diego
- Community Connections,
- San Diego Veterans Coalition
- Headstrong
- LIVE WELL
- San Diego County Health and Human Services
- Veteran Administration Centers.

Healing Wave Aquatics (formerly Wave Academy) was created based on research from Johns Hopkins University that showed warm water therapy could be beneficial for people suffering from the effects of Post Traumatic Stress (PTS). Over the past decade, our program has grown to serve over 700 low-to-moderate-income veterans in San Diego who have PTS. The organization is currently opening our new Healing Wave Aquatics facility in San Diego. The facility will allow for double the number of clients to be served and expand to other vulnerable populations. The organization also seeks to expand our program in the coming years to other vulnerable populations with PTS symptoms. We currently serve about 125 clients annually.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Financials

WAVE ACADEMY
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

WAVE ACADEMY

Board of directors
as of 05/30/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Nick Seidel

Will Dendy

VP/Relationship Manager, Pacific Premier Bank

Maggie Hannegan

Director of Philanthropy, Clearity Foundation

Nick Seidel

Retired Army Officer

Andrew Feaster

Attorney, Public Defender

Sean Keith

Financial Analyst and Real Estate Agent

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 5/30/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 05/08/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.