Visiting the Ann Arbor VA
Visiting the Ann Arbor VA
City Councilman Tim Woolley visited the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Ann Arbor Healthcare System as part of the National Salute to Veteran Patients Program Week.
Woolley, a U.S. Army veteran of the Desert Storm-Desert Shield era, represented the City of Taylor by touring the facility on Wednesday, February 17. He toured the facility with Beverly Conatser, chief of voluntary and chaplain services. He had a chance to visit several of the key areas in the hospital and visit with some of the veterans who are currently staying there.
It was an honor to visit the facility and interact with the veterans, said Woolley, who also serves as the council representative on the Taylor Veterans Museum Commission.
According to the VA, the purpose of the National Salute to Veteran Patients Program is to:
- Pay tribute and express appreciation to Veterans
- Increase community awareness of the role of the VA medical center
- Encourage citizens to visit hospitalized Veterans and to become involved as volunteers
The week of February 14 each year is an opportunity to say "thank you" to a special group of men and women. More than 98,000 Veterans of the U.S. armed services are cared for every day in VA medical centers.
During the National Salute, the VA invites individuals, Veterans groups, military personnel, civic organizations, businesses, schools, local media, celebrities and sports stars to participate in a variety of activities at the VA medical centers. The activities and events include special ward visits and valentine distributions; photo opportunities; school essay contests; special recreation activities and Veteran recognition programs.
The week also provides an opportunity for the community to become acquainted with the volunteer opportunities within the medical center.
Also during National Salute week, selected cities host concerts that are free to Veterans and their families. The concert schedule is usually available around the first of January.
Since 1953, the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System (VAAAHS) has provided state-of-the-art healthcare services to the men and women who have so proudly served the nation. More than 65,000 Veterans living in a 15-county area of Michigan and Northwest Ohio utilized the VAAAHS in fiscal year 2015.
The main hospital campus located in Ann Arbor serves as a referral center for specialty care and operates 109 acute care beds and 40 Community Living Center (extended care) beds. More than 800,000 outpatient visits were made at our facilities in fiscal year 2015; there were more than 5,000 inpatient episodes of care provided in the hospital and extended care center.