, TN — James H. Quillen VA Medical Center (JHQVAMC) will observe National Salute to Veteran Patients week Feb. 13-19, 2022, to honor its Veteran patients and to increase community awareness of VA’s role in providing them comprehensive medical care.
Since 1978, VA has used the week of Valentine’s Day to provide a weeklong commemoration of Veterans. Staff at JHQVAMC will hand out cards and flowers to those being cared for at the medical center, outpatient clinics, domiciliaries and the Community Living Center.
The annual observance honors hospitalized Veterans by encouraging people to seek opportunities to donate or volunteer through the medical center’s Volunteer Service program. In 2021, 560 volunteers provided 84,577 total volunteer hours serving Veterans through the program.
“Our Volunteers are the heart of our program here, and an integral part of the care team for our Veteran patients” said Stephanie Justus, Voluntary Service chief. “They do an endless list of tasks necessary in caring for our Veterans, and make such a priceless difference in Veterans’ lives every single day.”
In addition to donations and as a compliment to in-person volunteer assignments, VA also provides volunteers with virtual and remote assignments which allows them to safely support Veteran inpatients during the pandemic. The Compassionate Contact Corps is a virtual social prescription program providing trained volunteers who are matched with Veterans experiencing loneliness or feel socially isolated. The volunteer typically calls the Veteran weekly for 15-60 minutes offering socialization and companionship via phone or video calls.
Many volunteers come from Veteran Service Organizations and are Veterans themselves, but that is not a requirement to volunteer for the program.
“I feel very passionate about this program,” said Carey Arrowood, Voluntary Service Assistant. “This is an awesome way to help our Veterans during these times when many have little or no interaction with the outside world.”
To learn more about Compassionate Contact Corps or other volunteer opportunities, and to join the mission to honor the sacrifice and service of America's Veterans during National Salute to Veteran Patients Week, or any time of year, visit Voluntary Service at JHQVAMC or online at https://www.volunteer.va.gov/