HOLLIDAYSBURG- The Borough of Hollidaysburg in partnership with the James E. Van Zandt VA Medical Center unveiled new street signs today.
The Borough of Hollidaysburg is the first municipality to take these steps to make sure Veterans know where to go to receive VA services.
The event was attended by the Mayor of Hollidaysburg, Joe Dodson, Borough Manager, Jim Gehert and the VAMC Associate Director, Derek Coughenour along with several members of the community and VA employees.
This initiative started this summer when Mayor Dodson, and Gehert, met with the VAMC Director, Sigrid Andrew, to discuss opportunities for the Borough to assist with linking Veterans to VA services. When Borough leadership realized the lack of signage within the community, they proactively took this as the first thing they could do to help.
“Our partnership with the Altoona VA is vital to our community.” said Mayor Dodson, “As a Veteran and citizen of Hollidaysburg, I know the impact that the VA can have on a Veteran’s life and our community as a whole. Our Borough saw this as an easy step to help lead Veterans to those services.”
The Borough placed six signs throughout the community including the four signs as the intersection of 36 and Route 22, where the ceremony was held today. They have offered to donate one more sign to another municipality to assist with continuity in signage.
“We are grateful to be part of a community that makes serving Veterans its priority,” said Coughenour. “As the leading health care facility for Veterans in our region, it is these partnerships that are going to continue to increase the Veterans who choose us as their primary health care provider. We will continue to provide unparalleled services to our Veterans and continue to lead this community in health care services.”
The James E. Van Zandt VA Medical Center expanded more than 17 services last year and continues to be the leader in telehealth with the largest telehealth infusion clinic within the U.S. Additionally, partly due to their ability to provide behavioral health consults through telehealth, they are the regional leaders in behavioral health services and suicide prevention with same day appointments.
The VA Medical Center employs more than 880 personnel and has a regional economic impact of more than $160 million. With a catchment area of 14 counties, the Medical Center, along with its five community based outpatient clinics, provide services to 26,500 Veterans generating more than 260,000 visits per year.