As we all look toward a New Year and enjoy this Holiday Season, I would like to take the opportunity to extend my heartfelt greetings for the season and appreciate our wonderful communities along the Gulf Coast for all they do in assisting us in our mission - providing health care to our Veterans.
From Panama City Beach, Florida, to Biloxi, Mississippi, our community partners have historically demonstrated an unwavering support for the men and women who have worn the cloth of our nation. This will no doubt continue, and on behalf of the Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System (GCVHCS), I want to extend my heartfelt appreciation to every individual and organization who has donated their time and efforts toward us so that we are able to continue our work in the communities we all hold dear.
Despite the undoubtedly difficult year we have faced, we have managed to persevere, and as we look toward 2022 I know the impact we can have on the health and well-being of our Gulf Coast-area Veterans remains unconstrained by the limitations the ongoing global health crisis has had. We have taken - and will continue to take - measures to ensure the safety of every Veteran, beneficiary and employee walking through our doors, and will continue to operate within Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) guidelines.
The health and safety of our Veteran community is dependent on combatting the spread of COVID-19, and we will still provide each and every GCVHCS beneficiary the opportunity to receive vaccinations if they so desire.
The more than 2,700 employees at our five sites in Florida, Alabama and Mississippi will remain committed to our Veterans' ongoing health care in this coming year and in years to come, and I am hopeful that as our great nation continues to research and develop methods of stemming the ongoing global health crisis we will be able to return our methods of health care to more traditional interactions.
Despite the difficulties we have all faced, however, I want to commend our employees on their dedication, flexibility and unwavering compassion in furthering our mission; these men and women have provided health care in the face of adversity and will continue to do so.
I wish each and every one of you a safe and prosperous New Year.
Bryan C. Matthews
Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System