MOUNTAIN HOME – The James H. Quillen VA Medical Center will observe National Veteran Patient Salvation Week Feb. 13-19, to honor its veteran patients and raise awareness in the community of the VA’s role in providing comprehensive medical care.
Since 1978, Veterans Affairs has taken advantage of Valentine’s Day to organize a week of remembrance for veterans. James H. Quillen VA Medical Center staff will distribute cards and flowers to those being treated at the medical center, outpatient clinics, home and community living center.
The annual celebration honors hospitalized veterans by encouraging people to seek out opportunities to donate or volunteer through the medical center’s volunteer service program. In 2021, 560 volunteers contributed 84,577 hours of volunteer service to veterans under 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, Chief of Volunteer Service. “They perform an endless list of tasks necessary to care for our veterans and make an invaluable difference in the lives of veterans every day.”
In addition to donations and in addition to in-person volunteer assignments, the VA also provides volunteers with virtual and remote assignments that allow them to safely support hospitalized veterans during the pandemic. The Compassionate Contact Corps is a virtual social prescription program that provides trained volunteers who are matched with veterans who live in loneliness or feel socially isolated. The volunteer typically calls the veteran weekly for 15-60 minutes, offering socialization and companionship over the phone or video.
Many volunteers come from veterans service organizations and are veterans themselves, but this is not a requirement to volunteer for the program.
“I feel very passionate about this program,” said Volunteer Service Assistant Carey Arrowood. “It’s a great way to help our veterans in 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 American veterans during National Veterans Tribute Week, visit Voluntary Service at JHQVAMC or online at www.volunteer.va.gov.