One of VA's ongoing missions is to provide a positive health care experience for all Veterans. That mission includes focusing on Veterans' needs, working with health care providers who want to make a difference, and providing a safe healing environment.
Below are some stories from both Veterans and VA health care providers that illustrate the many ways VA is committed to creating a positive health care experience:
When I asked Vietnam Army Veteran Rufus how he felt about Dr. Cheng, he paused. For a very long time. Then tears filled his eyes and he whispered, “He saved my life. He’s a great doctor. One of the best. I wouldn’t have another doctor.”
Vietnam Marine Corps Veteran George feels the same way. Also through an emotional whisper, he said, “One more day and I would have been dead except for Dr. Cheng. He’s better than good. You won’t find a better doctor.”
Dr. Jianhua Cheng has been a staff physician in primary care at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia, for 14 years. Although he does not want this story to be about him, it probably will be, in spite of his reminding me a dozen times that he is just part of a great team.
Army Veteran Pearlie Trent is warm, enthusiastic and articulate, and always smiling. She is compassionate and engaging towards cancer patients and their families at VA's Brooklyn campus, where she works as a volunteer. This is understandably her best year ever. Since graduating in May, Valedictorian at St. Joseph's College, she has been accepted into the Adephi University Masters of Social Work program. What is not obvious, until she shares her deeply painful personal history, is that she is extraordinarily courageous and resilient.
Born in Guyana, in South America, Trent came to New York at the age of 14, with her father and grandmother. Looking back, she said, "good, solid human values relating to caring for others and responsibility were instilled early." But, the reality that developed was, once living in New York, her father provided little home life.