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Quality of Care


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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:

Mark Probandt, Retired Navy VeteranMark Probandt, Retired Navy Veteran

Volunteers Driving The Distance

Can you envision driving across the country multiples times in a year? How about the distance from Los Angeles, Calif., to New York, N.Y., 52 times?  Our devoted Disabled American Veterans (DAV) drivers have commuted this amount, from Pensacola, Fla., to the Biloxi, Miss., facility in just a year.

The DAV Transportation Network is a service offered to our Veterans with the assistance from our volunteers to make that happen. This helping hand is offered every day to Veterans who have appointments at the VA.  For one Pensacola VA volunteer, Mark Probandt, it is more than just picking up and dropping off Veterans, it is a sense of accomplishment and pride.

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Navy Veteran Yusuf El Ashmawy and Dr. Helena Guber, Chief of EndocrinologyNavy Veteran Yusuf El Ashmawy and Dr. Helena Guber, Chief of Endocrinology 
Army Veteran Jerome Dunn

Black Poison

Yusuf El Ashmawy’s diagnosis came suddenly at the age of 32.

“I was in perfect health. It was a beautiful summer. I had been swimming, lifting weights and playing basketball.” With a job change, Navy Veteran Yusuf El Ashmawy, was considering options for insurance coverage. His girlfriend, now his wife, was doing her dental residency at VA’s Brooklyn Campus. She advised him to enroll for VA healthcare services.

He signed up and at the physical, seemed to be in excellent health. But, then the physician checked his neck. He said, “‘what is this node?’ He took my hand and placed it on my neck – this giant lymph node stuck out,” says El Ashmawy. Clearly something was wrong.

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