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) does aligns with these dates. VHA’s Office of Community Engagement (OCE) is highlighting how its partnership work for Veterans connects to these observances:
December: VA’s National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention’s (NCP) “Managing Stress Month.”
December 10: the United Nations’ Human Rights Day.
VA, through NCP, promotes healthy living—especially during the coronavirus pandemic—by encouraging Veterans to stay active, sleep well, and be involved in their own health care. OCE partnerships promote stress management, too: The Y-USA partnership helps Y-USA and VHA employees connect Veterans to healthy lifestyle programming. Most recently, Y-USA offered free, online, on-demand fitness videos through its “YMCA 360 platform.” VHA also has a partnership with Americans for the Arts, which enables Veterans to access arts offerings for self-care and stress relief. OCE also collaborated with VHA’s Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation on three different yoga-focused partnerships; learn more here.
Regarding human rights, OCE aims to support the social determinants of health (SDOH) in all its partnerships. Access to positive SDOH, like food security, education, and housing, are all fundamental human rights. VHA has many offices that specifically support these rights such as housing and health equity, and OCE-supported partnerships such as MAZON and FRAC promote food security; OCE’s partnership with Salesforce Military helps connect Veterans with meaningful employment, another SDOH. Further, OCE’s annual Community Partnership Challenge theme in 2020 was the SDOH—visit this page and click on “VHA Community Partnership Challenge” to read about SDOH-focused community partnerships. OCE also ensures human rights are protected by conducting due diligence on all its partnerships; its Center for Compassionate Care Innovation also uplifts “do no harm” as its top priority.
January: Poverty in America Awareness Month
January 17-23: Healthy Weight Week
Poverty is addressed by VA through resources that help Veterans find employment, like the ones listed on this page. OCE’s Salesforce Military partnership, too, offers Veterans free training and job opportunities. OCE is also pursuing a partnership with the ETS Sponsorship Program, which helps Veterans find employment resources, education, housing, and more.
Alongside “Healthy Weight Week,” VA’s Nutrition and Food Services Weight Management Programs, along with NCP’s MOVE! Weight Management Program, offer Veterans support and information about managing their weight. MAZON and FRAC, mentioned above, are OCE partnerships that also work to ensure Veterans have access to food. OCE is also working with the Military to Civilian Readiness Pathway work group. One of the group’s teams focuses on financial literacy—if Veterans are better able to manage their own finances, they are less likely to experience poverty.
For more information on OCE’s partnerships, please visit: VA.gov/healthpartnerships.
Posted December 29, 2020