Erie VA Medical Center
2016 Year in Review
A Glance At Our Accomplishments
When we say we are committed to serving Veterans, we mean it. We focus not only on providing exceptional health care, but providing experiences for Veterans that will enhance their well-being. To give you a glimpse of all we’ve accomplished this year with the help of our community partners, we’ve put together this Year in Review to showcase a few of our favorite events.
Erie VA Health Fair
More than 100 Veterans and their families stopped by our annual Veteran Health Fair to speak with VA health experts and learn about the wide-variety of VA programs and services available to local Veterans.
National Salute to Veterans
We asked the community to get involved by spreading some Valentine’s Day cheer to our in-patient residents – and, as always, we got an overwhelming response from our community members. Veterans in our Community Living Center (CLC) were showered with Valentine’s Day cards and had multiple visits a day from local celebrities, schools, community groups, and families.
Hometown Heroes Bowling Tournament
The UE Local 506 Sport Committee hosted the 14th Annual Hometown Heroes Bowling Tournament and raised more than $20,000 for the National Games and the Erie VAMC Homeless Veteran Program. Erie VAMC staff also took some of the residents from the Community Living Center to participate in the event for a fun afternoon of adapted bowling.
Party Rock USA - Recreation
A group from Re-Creation USA, Inc. stopped by the Erie VAMC to put on a show for the in-patient residents in the Community Living Center. Re-Creation USA provides a national program of live entertainment for America’s hospitalized Veterans in VA Medical Centers and State Veterans Homes across the country.
VA2K Walk & Roll
More than 80 Veterans, their families, Erie VAMC staff, and community members attended the annual VA2K Walk & Roll event dedicated to supporting homeless Veterans while encouraging healthy activity as they walked & rolled around the Erie VAMC campus.
Parking Garage Opening Ceremony
Erie VAMC hosted a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to celebrate the opening of the new 280-space parking garage this past June. More than 100 attendees came to celebrate with us!
Vietnam Veteran Commemoration
Erie VAMC, in partnership with the VVA Post #435 and the Erie Vet Center, hosted a Vietnam War Commemoration in March 2016 to pay tribute to local Vietnam Veterans and their families. More than 300 Veterans and community members attended the commemoration as we, as a community, officially said, “Welcome Home,” to our Vietnam Veterans and thanked them and their families for their service and sacrifices.
Mental Health Summit
Erie VAMC’s Behavioral Health Clinic hosted the annual Mental Health Summit – a collaborative effort with community agencies to address the specific mental health care needs of Veterans and their families and to enhance access to mental health services community-wide. This team pictured above worked to identify barriers to care and then developed solutions to help address those barriers.
Suicide Prevention Walk
Once again, Erie VAMC’s Behavioral Health Clinic hosted the annual Suicide Prevention Awareness Walk to remember those who were taken by suicide and to further build awareness of suicide prevention programs available to Veterans.
In efforts to fulfill our commitment to never forget those who sacrificed for our country, the Erie VAMC hosted the annual POW/MIA Remembrance Ceremony to honor our Nation’s most revered heroes – those who served under the worst of conditions, sacrificing their freedom so that our country may know true liberty. Local former POWs talked about their stories and experiences of captivity during the incredibly moving ceremony.
All Employee Picnic
Erie VAMC’s leadership team hosted an all employee picnic to recognize and thank staff for their dedication to serving Veterans.
Social Work Display
To recognize the 90th Anniversary of Social Work within the VA, several Erie VAMC staff developed and launched The History of Social Work Exhibit – a five-panel exhibit that explores the past, present, and future of the rich history of VA Social Workers.
Our Women Veterans Program Manager, along with the Health Promotion team, hosted a facility-wide Pink Out Challenge encouraging all employees to wear pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Veterans Day Parade
Erie VAMC staff, along with their families, proudly marched in the annual Veterans Day Parade in November to show our continued support for Veterans!
Veterans Day Ceremony
Veterans proudly stood when their service song was played during the armed forces medley – a compilation of all the service songs from each branch. The armed forces medley is played every year during the Veterans Day Ceremony to honor Veterans from every branch.
Erie VAMC's Nutrition & Food Services teamed up with the Second Harvest Food Bank to co-host the first Produce Express (a mobile food pantry) for Veterans in need. With the help of the Second Harvest Food Bank, VFW Post 740, the Veterans Miracle Center, the Vet Center, and volunteers from General McLane and Fort LeBoeuf, we were able to provide fresh food, along with other items, to more than 50 Veterans and their families. Our VA dietitians used the mobile food cart to serve a delicious cabbage soup, made with ingredients that were given out by the Produce Express tonight while the Veterans Miracle Center handed out warm clothes to families in need. This is a true community of support.
Warren CBOC Open House
Erie VAMC hosted a Warren CBOC Open House to show off the newly renovated clinic. More than 40 Veterans and their families came out to tour the clinic, to sign up for services, and to learn more about VA programs.
Mr. Reffner, a proud CLC Veteran Resident, said a few words at the CLC Groundbreaking Ceremony noting how excited he was to have a new home in a few short months.
YMCA Fitness Classes - Yoga
A few employees take advantage of the FREE Monday night yoga class to get fit and stay healthy. This class is offered right on-site in the Erie VAMC 2nd floor conference rooms.
YMCA Fitness Classes - Interval Training
The YMCA certified instructor talks to one of the attendees at the interval training class offered every Tuesday and Thursday evening at the Erie VAMC.
Welcome Home Day at the Zoo
More than 900 Veterans and their families attended this year’s Welcome Home Veterans Appreciation Event at the Erie Zoo. This event serves as a one-stop-shop for Veterans and their families to learn about VA programs and community resources available for Veterans while providing entertainment for the whole family.