How the VA Hospital Serves in a Pandemic
Hello everybody Dave Sullivan here with people driven credit union, and I have a special guest…
I’m Steve Spar. I’m the acting chief of voluntary services here at the VA Harbor health care system.
Dave: Steve, how have things changed now that you’ve been through Cova, and have you are you still seeing the same number of volunteers that you had before, or do you even allow volunteers right now?
Steve: Right now, the volunteers that we have currently volunteered are just with our transportation department. Most of all, volunteering was suspended during the COVID pandemic, and we have not allowed a lot of the volunteers back in. Still, we expect to see that in the future, and we’re going to get our program back up to where it was and have about around 300 volunteers as we did before.
Dave: Wow, a little over 300 volunteers signed up now. Are most of those veterans as well?
Steve: Yes, so it is split between veterans and their spouses that are retired and then the University of Michigan students.
Dave: Great, Steve, what is one thing that the VA hospital does that most people do not realize?
Steve: One of the things is we have a fourth mission at the VA that people do not realize or know about, which is to support the civilian healthcare system and times of crisis and it’s very rarely used, but it was during the Corona pandemic used here in Ann Arbor we took care of civilian or humanitarian non-veteran patients in our Hospital and cared for them during the pandemic.
Dave: That’s amazing the VA is continued to give back, so that’s wonderful. Is there a way for other people to help even though you cannot have volunteers right now?
Steve: Absolutely, folks, can help. We are still receiving donations, and that’s in-kind donations and your food donation, so graciously, we receive today okay as well as monetary donations. Even on the va.gov website, you can donate using credit cards.
Dave: that’s great, we really appreciate everything you guys do here, and we hope that the lunch is enjoyable for the folks who can enjoy it.
Steve: Absolutely, we very much appreciate the meal, and you know it’s an honor to work helping our veterans, and the community has been such great organizations like yours to help us in our mission of taking care of America’s veterans. Thank you so much.