, IL — The VA Illiana Health Care System has made bed space and health care services available for up to twenty non-veteran patients. This began on Tuesday, September 7, 2021.
The VA Illiana Health Care System has made bed space and health care services available for up to twenty non-veteran patients. This began on Tuesday, Sept. 7. Private sector hospitals from southern Illinois will be able to transfer patients who are not COVID-positive to VA Illiana to help relieve some of the strain hospitals in the area are experiencing.
“We have the capacity to help in this way while continuing our primary mission of caring for military veterans,” said Dr. Staci Williams, acting medical center director of VA Illiana. “We are really proud to be able to help in this way.”
VA Illiana has medical facilities in six counties in three different geographic regions that the Illinois Department of Public Health uses to track COVID resurgence criteria. VA Illiana leadership regularly reviews the resurgence criteria of those three and neighboring regions.
"The Delta variant of COVID-19 has put us in a period of sustained high positivity rates throughout our area. This has led to very low numbers of available hospital beds,” said Zachary Sage, associate director of VA Illiana. “We want to be able to help the state get through the pandemic while we are caring for the veterans themselves.”
VA Illiana is authorized to serve non-Veterans through the Department of Veterans Affairs Fourth Mission. That mission is “to improve the Nation’s preparedness for response to war, terrorism, national emergencies, and natural disasters by developing plans and taking actions to ensure continued service to veterans, as well as to support national, state, and local emergency management, public health, safety and homeland security efforts.”
The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system. It serves more than 9 million enrolled Veterans each year by providing care at more than 1,200 health care facilities. Veterans can visit https://www.choose.va.gov/health to learn more and apply for VA health care.