National Center for Healthcare Advancement and Partnerships
The partnership between the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and Y-USA (the national entity that oversees YMCA facilities across the country) works to provide effective services to Veterans. Since 2015, this partnership has leveraged the resources and expertise of both organizations to promote the well-being of Veterans and their families. VHA employees throughout the country work with local YMCAs to connect Veterans to needed resources in their communities. Veterans can access volunteer opportunities and services and benefits in the areas of healthy lifestyle programming and community reintegration.
On Oct. 1, a revised VHA and Y-USA partnership agreement was signed by VHA Executive in Charge Dr. Richard A. Stone and Y-USA President and CEO Kevin Washington. This partnership establishes a structure that allows VHA and Y-USA to work in a mutually beneficial manner to serve Veterans, their families, caregivers, and survivors. In setting the goals and objectives of the renewed partnership, VHA and Y-USA employees will discuss how to improve and expand offerings that support Veterans, as well as how Y-USA can offer whole-health services that augment VHA’s capabilities.
VHA and Y-USA employees representing different regions of the country also meet monthly to discuss the partnership’s goals and direction. Recently, these VHA and Y-USA employees collaborated to revise a survey that Y-USA will distribute to YMCA staff members regarding Veterans’ use of YMCA services. This survey aims to gather information such as how many Veterans have memberships at a particular YMCA facility or how many Veteran-related activities are held at facilities annually. The partners will use the survey results to assess how Veterans access YMCA’s resources and to identify the best ways of delivering critical services to Veterans at YMCA facilities in the future.
Dr. Kimberly Pugh, who oversees the VHA–Y-USA partnership at the national level, said, “Through the collaboration between VHA and Y-USA, we can increase the health and well-being of our nation’s Veterans.”
VHA’s Office of Community Engagement (OCE) is proud to serve as a trusted resource and catalyst for the growth of partnerships such as this one with Y-USA. For more on OCE’s work, visit https://www.va.gov/healthpartnerships.
Posted November 18, 2019