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Volunteer or donate

Volunteer and Community Relations (VCR) includes several key services of the Detroit VA Healthcare System - Voluntary Service, Public Affairs, Patient Advocates and Medical Media. VCR crafts and nurtures relationships with the community, internal customers and stakeholders to promote the mission of the Detroit VA Healthcare System, while supporting the care of the Veteran patient.

Volunteer and Community Relations Service

Volunteer and Community Relations Service (VCRS) includes several key services of the Detroit VA Healthcare System - Voluntary Service, Public Affairs, Medical Media and Escort Section. VCR crafts and nurtures relationships with the community, internal customers and stakeholders to promote the mission of the Detroit VA Healthcare System, while supporting the care of the Veteran patient.

  • VA Voluntary Service (VAVS) Program: A principal component of VCR, the Detroit VAVS is one of the largest volunteer programs in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and the Metro-Detroit area. There is a corps of more than 1,200 volunteers who provide many important functions throughout the Medical Center and help make our patients' stay more enjoyable.
  • Public Affairs Office: responsible for promoting the image of the medical center, both externally and internally through innovative communication and outreach. Public Affairs fosters a working relationship with media, maintains open contact with other government agencies, and keeps internal and external publics informed on issues that may affect them.
  • Medical Media: support programs such as Tele-health and remote diagnostic care; provide graphic design, clinical and event documentation, video production and in-house cable TV programming.
  • Escort Section: provides on-campus transportation assistance for guests and visitors at John D. Dingell VA Medical Center.

Location of Service in Medical Center:

  • Voluntary Service is located in room A1015
  • Patient Advocate are on the first floor next to the Chapel in the Atrium
  • Medical Media – Room C3952
  • Public Affairs Officers are in the Director’s Office, 5th floor, Red Tower.
  • Escort Section - First floor Red Information Desk, next to Veterans Fitness Center

Contact information:

  • William R. Browning, Chief Volunteer and Community Relations, Voluntary Service – 313-576-1000, ext 63332
  • Escort Section – 313-576-1000, ext. 63833
  • Medical Media – 313-576-1000, ext. 63283
  • Public Affairs – 313-576-1000, ext. 63596/63340

Hours of Operation:

Monday - Friday, 7:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Volunteer Assignments

There are many areas in which you can volunteer. However, if you have special skills to offer, please call 313-576-3332, so we can discuss how you can best use your talents to help our patients.

Assist and support nursing staff on inpatient units, providing amenities and special attention to patients as needed. 

Assist staff in directing patients to check out/discharge counter and various other customer service-related duties.

Compassionate Contact Corps Volunteers provide compassion, companionship, and support for both the Veteran and the Caregiver. These Volunteers make routine virtual visits to selected Veterans in their homes for the purpose of providing social engagement as well as a health and safety check on the Veteran.

Help patients and visitors with information and clinic locations.

Help outpatients on first floor with access to the medical center.

Serve as customer service agent at Blue (South) and Emergency Department entrances to the medical center. Volunteer welcomes guests and provide navigation assistance using iPads and Detroit VA map website.

Assist Veterans and visitors with information and serve as a liaison to the care staff. 

Provide assistance with pushing patients in wheelchairs to their scheduled appointments. 

Assist staff with review and screening of guests entering the facility.

Help different medical or administrative offices in the medical center. Duties include filing, answering phones, and greeting and directing patients.

Help make phone calls to remind patients about their scheduled appointments.

Help pick-up outpatients in the Metro-Detroit area and bring to main hospital for appointments. To fill this role, you must have a current driver's license, automobile insurance and pass a physical exam.

Donations

Donations can be cash or non-cash and are used for the comfort and welfare of our Veteran patients. For more information on the particular needs of our Veteran patients, contact our Voluntary Service Office at 313-576-3332. To make a donation, please use the donor form found below, as well as our current donation needs list.

  • Hygiene products
  • Refreshment supplies
  • Cable television for inpatients
  • Recreational activities
  • Homeless program
  • Comfort items for inpatient guests
  • Cable-TV programming
  • DVD/video games
  • Paperback books
  • Telephone cards
  • Nutritional, single-serve snacks for patients
  • New shoes (Sizes 8-13)
  • DDOT or MDOT bus passes
  • Comfort items for inpatient guests
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