National Center for Healthcare Advancement and Partnerships
OCE Partnership Impact
Each month, special “observance” dates spread awareness of different issues or honor a group. Mental Health Awareness Month in May, or Veterans Day in November, are two that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recognizes.
Much of the work VA and the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) do aligns with these dates. VHA’s Office of Community Engagement (OCE) recently promoted how its partnership work connects to current observances in January (and in December before that); read more here.
More upcoming observances:
February: National Senior Independence Month
Career and Technical Education Month
VHA has many supportive services for senior Veterans, including those from the Geriatrics and Extended Care office. OCE supports the partnership between VA/VHA and the organization formerly known as the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS, now AmeriCorps), the federal agency that leads national volunteering and service efforts. This interagency collaboration allows Veterans who are at risk of moving into a nursing home or other institution to stay at home with more independence.
OCE also supports the Veteran Community Partnership (VCP) initiative, which brings community leaders and organizations together with VA medical center (VAMC) programs to enhance Veterans’ access to health care and services. The VCP initiative will expand to every VAMC in the United States by 2024, with a focus on: expanding home and community-based services; modernizing systems for healthy aging; improving access to technology; and increasing the number of clinicians with geriatric expertise.
Regarding Career and Technical Education Month, many OCE partnerships focus on helping Veterans find meaningful employment. OCE’s Salesforce Military partnership offers Veterans and their spouses free training and job opportunities; OCE is also pursuing a partnership with the ETS Sponsorship Program, which helps Veterans find employment resources. Additionally, OCE collaborates with The Daniel and Salvador Montoya Heroes Foundation, which works with Veteran-friendly companies to match Veterans to jobs.
March: National Nutrition Month
There are many observances in the month of March; stay tuned to OCE’s “Latest News” page and its quarterly newsletters page for upcoming articles about OCE partnerships that connect to National Kidney Month, Social Work Month, Brain Injury Awareness Month, and more.
March is also National Nutrition Month, and along with VA’s existing nutrition services through VA’s Nutrition and Food Services Weight Management Programs, OCE supports collaboration with MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, and the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC). MAZON is a national advocacy organization working to end hunger among people of all faiths in the United States and Israel; the organization advocates for food security among Veterans and leads an effort to eliminate barriers to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
FRAC, meanwhile, is providing coordination, training, technical assistance, and support on nutrition and anti-poverty issues. Like MAZON, FRAC is working on ways to eliminate barriers to SNAP access and to support Veterans and other vulnerable populations. Both organizations work to expand Veterans’ food security and access to nutrition for their well-being.
For more information on OCE’s partnerships, please visit: VA.gov/healthpartnerships.
Posted February 10, 2021