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Office of Community Engagement

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OCE Partnerships

OCE's partnerships utilize coordinated efforts to increase Veterans' access to quality health care, wherever they are. Here are a few of the partnerships OCE supports:

  • Humane Society of the United States (HSUS): In 2017, VA announced a partnership with HSUS called Operation Hero-Animal Bond. The partnership, which can pair Veterans with rescue animals, encourages Veterans to consider pet ownership. It also encourages Veterans to consider participating in volunteer opportunities with local community animal shelters and humane societies, which can reduce the social isolation some Veterans experience. Through this partnership, OCE and HSUS work together to communicate the many benefits that pets and Veterans bring to each other’s lives.

  • Marcus Institute for Brain Health (MIBH): Through VHA’s partnership with MIBH, VHA assigns a nurse or social worker as a liaison to Veterans who have sought care at MIBH and then chosen to return to VHA treatment. This liaison works to meet the ongoing health care needs of Veterans diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury (TBI). The goals of the partnership are to optimize care coordination for VHA-enrolled Veterans after they are discharged from acute self-referred treatment at MIBH and to support eligible Veterans who want to enroll in VHA care, maintaining continuity of treatment.

  • Medical-Legal Partnerships: These nonmonetary partnerships bring together VA medical facilities and volunteer attorneys who provide services to Veterans at no cost. Veterans, including those experiencing homelessness, ranked affordable legal assistance high on their list of unmet needs in a 2016 VA survey. Legal issues can also directly affect Veterans’ health. For example, a Veteran experiencing stress because of a child custody dispute cannot fully focus on recovering from a health issue. After screening Veterans for unmet legal needs, VA medical teams can refer Veterans to on-site legal clinics where attorneys provide free services for noncriminal legal issues, in areas such as family law, landlord-tenant disputes, and elder law.

  • Veterans Hub:The Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s 100 Million Healthier Lives initiative is working toward a goal of 100 million people living healthier lives by 2020. The Veterans Hub is one of the initiative’s seven topical hubs and aims to create a network of organizations and coalitions working to empower Veterans to be the healthiest versions of themselves. The hub program will strive to meet the goal of 20 million Veterans leading healthier lives by increasing food security, access to employment, safe housing, and more.

  • Veterans Community Partnerships (VCPs):These represent a national initiative that ensures all Veterans and their caregivers have access to, and a wide range of choices among, the services that allow Veterans to stay in the places they call home. VCPs comprise Veterans and their caregivers, VA facilities, community health care providers, and organizations and agencies working together to foster seamless access to care and support services at VA and in Veteran communities.