National Center for Healthcare Advancement and Partnerships
OCE Partnerships and COVID-19
Through song, OCE staff member Heather Luper is contributing to a sense of well-being during VHA staff calls
As the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way many Veterans receive health care and many Veterans Health Administration (VHA) employees conduct their work, some VHA staff members have been devoting their time, energy, and skills to efforts that ease the effects of COVID-19. Team members from VHA’s Office of Community Engagement (OCE) have stepped up to help during this challenging time in several ways. Here are their stories.
Ms. Heather Luper, a licensed clinical social worker who works within OCE, donated blood at The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Central Office (VACO) in Washington, D.C., in June, and described how it “felt great to do something that can help so many people.”
Just as other OCE team members have helped out during the coronavirus pandemic—such as OCE team members Dr. Jamie D. Davis and Mr. Randy Moler—Ms. Luper has continued to lend her skills to efforts that provide a sense of relief during COVID-19.
“COVID in 20” is a twice-weekly, 20-minute event hosted by VHA’s Emergency Medicine program. As part of these calls, Dr. Chad Kessler, national program director for VHA Emergency Medicine, joins experts from the field to discuss topics such as: whole health, COVID-19 testing, screening, personal protective equipment, and more.
“These calls are for VA frontline staff and they combine uplifting entertainment with vital COVID information for the field,” Ms. Luper said.
Ms. Luper has contributed because the calls feature music, videos, or some other form of entertainment at the beginning and end of each call—Ms. Luper is a singer and videos of her singing have been featured on three of the calls so far.
“They converted the videos to audio-only and usually have a slide show presentation or some other picture on screen while my song is playing,” Ms. Luper explained.
The video of Ms. Luper singing “Let it Be” can be found here. This video was converted to audio and played during a “COVID in 20” call.
“The ‘COVID in 20’ calls strike a great balance between education, information, and encouragement. VA medical teams and staff work so hard and are going above and beyond during this time. I am honored to be able to offer them some music to enjoy,” Ms. Luper explained.
“’COVID in 20’ is not only about great content, but perhaps even more so about the connections, the humanities,” said Dr. Kessler. “Heather Luper has provided a string, through her beautiful music, to connect folks across the nation!”
OCE is VHA’s resource for developing partnerships throughout VHA. For more information on OCE’s work, please visit va.gov/healthpartnerships.
Posted October 02, 2020