National Center for Healthcare Advancement and Partnerships
Veteran Community Partnerships
The Veteran Community Partnership (VCP) initiative brings together community leaders, Veterans, other organizations, and VA medical center programs to help Veterans. VCPs across the country have been busy holding events locally. Here are four VCPs’ stories:
Hampton Roads, Virginia
In November, this VCP hosted a virtual conference: “Veterans of the Vietnam Era: Honoring Loyalty, Looking Towards Hope.” It offered information for Veterans and caregivers on topics like mindfulness; factors that specifically impact Vietnam Veterans; and benefits available through the VA Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers.
“[Our mission] is to create a network of community hospice and home-care professionals, VA professionals, and volunteers working together to provide quality services through the end-of-life for all Hampton Roads Veterans,” said Mary Dorss, community co-chair for the VCP.
The VCP is working on planning its upcoming events for 2021.
Tennessee Valley, Tennessee
In October, this VCP hosted a “Flu Drive-Thru” for Veterans to get a flu shot and to pick up a “Caring During COVID Kit” that included hygiene items and information about VA programs, services, and benefits. More than 1,000 kits were distributed.
The VCP will host a food drive on Jan. 15 in partnership with a local Veterans Service Organization.
“Throughout the pandemic, the VCP has become stronger and more focused with providing services and resources to Veterans while navigating new challenges,” said Victoria Baez, a community residential care social worker with the VCP.
This VCP also hosted a “drive-through” event on Sept. 11 that provided information to Veterans on topics like long-term care and resume writing. Forty-two vendors and 68 Veterans attended. Read more here.
Tonya Ross, VCP chair, said the VCP is planning another drive-through resource fair in April.
“The ‘Drive Thru Resource Fair’ was so successful that the community members want to do it again bi-annually. The Veterans also were so thankful to be able to see each vendor and spend one-on-one time with them,” Ms. Ross said.
The Kentuckiana Veteran Community Integration Coalition distributed 300 backpacks to Veterans in 14 counties during an “Appreciation in a Bag” event. Veterans received gift cards, hygiene kits, and information about community resources. VA Voluntary Service participated and an additional 100 backpacks will be distributed to Veterans experiencing homelessness. The Boys and Girls Clubs wrote cards of appreciation for Veterans.
“Even throughout the pandemic, we all came together and strengthened our partnership by finding innovative ways to meet and hold our largest event to date. We continue to assess the needs of Veterans in our community and ensure we are collaborating and finding innovative ways to serve,” said Lori Paris, VCP coordinator.
The VCP is developing an action plan for the first part of 2021. VA employees can read more about the Kentuckiana VCP’s activities here.
The VCP initiative is a joint project of the Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA’s) Office of Community Engagement (OCE) and the offices of Geriatrics and Extended Care, Rural Health, and Caregiver Support. OCE is VHA’s partnerships hub—for more on OCE’s work, please visit va.gov/healthpartnerships.
Posted January 28, 2021