It was a “takeover” on May 10 as the VA digital media team was handed the Partnership for Public Service’s Instagram account for the day. The takeover provided an opportunity to highlight the work of VA employees across the country during Public Service Recognition Week.
Here’s a look at the stories VA shared.
Serving America’s Veterans, such as these Veterans from Honor Flight Long Island, and their families — it’s what we do every day at the @deptvetaffairs. . . . Hello from VA’s digital team! We are honored to be asked to take over the @rpublicservice account today for #PublicServiceRecognitionWeek to highlight some of the work public servants do at VA each day. Our team is made up of Veterans, Reservists, military family members and civilian public servants who share with, listen to and engage our online followers. In doing so we provide information on VA’s benefits and services, and highlight some of the amazing research and programs happening daily across VA. We hope you enjoy what we have to share with you today. #PSRW #HonoringVets
[Scroll for more photos] Every day, @deptvetaffairs researchers are doing work that not only impacts Veterans, but also benefits our nation as a whole. VA’s Million Veteran Program is one of the world’s largest genomic databases. It’s a wealth of information researchers can use to study a range of medical issues, such as mental illness, heart and kidney diseases, and even identify genetic risk factors for alcohol and opioid use. So far, more than 560,000 Veterans have donated a sample of blood and provided information with the hope that their contribution might make a difference for all Americans in the future. Helping us get the word out on MVP are Veterans service organizations, such as the @theamericanlegion, who toured the MVP home base in Massachusetts. You can find out more about the work VA employees are doing with MVP at www.research.va.gov/mvp/ #PSRW #HonoringVets #MillionVeteranProgram #VAResearch #PublicServiceRecognitionWeek
Jimmie Hargrave served in the U.S. Army for over seven years. Today, he’s a foreman at the Baltimore National Cemetery, and oversees the grounds at Loudon, Point Lookout, Congressional and Annapolis National Cemeteries. “One thing I believe in is Veterans taking care of Veterans,” Jimmie says of his work with @deptvetaffairs National Cemetery Administration. NCA’s dedicated public servants maintain approximately 3.5 million gravesites at 135 national cemeteries, one national Veterans’ burial ground and 33 soldiers’ lots and monument sites in 41 states and Puerto Rico. Every year, more than 4.8 million people visit a VA national cemetery. Visit www.cem.va.gov for more info. #PSRW #HonoringVets
At @deptvetaffairs’ Texas Valley Coastal Bend Healthcare System in Harlingen, Texas, Physical Therapist Vicente Rodea teaches Veteran Ramiro Hernandez how to manage pain using a technology-based system. Training Veterans how to properly use the equipment provided by VA is an important part of what Vicente does every day. #PSRW #HonoringVets #PublicServiceRecognitionWeek
Life isn’t always easy after a deployment. That’s where teams at @deptvetaffairs’ Vet Centers – such as these counselors and staff at the Lexington, Kentucky Vet Center – can help. With a dedicated team of social workers and counselors (many Veterans themselves), Vet Centers across the country provide a broad range of counseling, outreach and referral services to combat Veterans and their families. Vet Centers guide Veterans and their families through many of the major adjustments in lifestyle that often occur after a Veteran returns from combat. Services for a Veteran may include individual and group counseling in areas such as #PTSD, alcohol and drug assessment and suicide prevention referrals. All services are free of cost and are strictly confidential. Find out more about what Vet Centers can do for you at www.vetcenter.va.gov. #PSRW #HonoringVets #PublicServiceRecognitionWeek #VetCenter
[Scroll for more photos] This week, the 31st National Veterans Golden Age Games are taking place in Biloxi, Mississippi. @deptvetaffairs rehabilitation specialists, medical center employees and volunteers are on site cheering on senior athletes in a range of sports – from air rifle to table tennis to horseshoes to track & field events. The event is the premier senior rehabilitation program in the U.S. and the only national multi-event sports and recreational seniors’ competition program designed to improve the quality of life for all older Veterans, including those with a wide range of abilities and disabilities. Visit @vaadaptivesport for more awesome photos! #NVGAG #PSRW #HonoringVets #PublicServiceRecognitionWeek
[Scroll for more photos] Serving Veterans is a group effort for the @deptvetaffairs team at the Dallas VA Medical Center. Whether it’s the doctors, nurses or physical therapists working with Veterans, the hands-on approach to care makes a difference. Every day, the Dallas team works to ensure our Veterans get the best treatment – from a regular visit to conquering traumatic injuries to helping paralyzed Veterans walk again. #PSRW #HonoringVets #PublicServiceRecognitionWeek #dallas
[Scroll for photos] It’s not only #PublicServiceRecognitionWeek, it’s also #NationalNursesWeek. At @deptvetaffairs, we are proud to recognize the more than 98,000 nurses and public servants who work with us to provide high-quality health care to our nation’s Veterans. VA is the nation’s largest employer of nurses and they truly are the front line in caring for our Veterans and their families. If you’re a nurse and want to know about @vacareers, we have positions open around the country. Visit www.vacareers.va.gov to find a position near you. #PSRW #HonoringVets #PublicServiceRecognitionWeek #NursesWeek
[Scroll for photos] The Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in Charleston, South Carolina, provides health care services to Veterans throughout the Palmetto State, as well as parts of Georgia. @deptvetaffairs nurses, doctors, administrative staff and volunteers strive to create a caring, supportive atmosphere for local Veterans. Whether working at an information desk, providing medical care or ensuring Veterans and community members get the information they need about VA, the public servants at VA put Veterans first. #PSRW #HonoringVets #PublicServiceRecognitionWeek #charlestonsc
[Scroll for photos] Since 1921, the Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center in Walla Walla, Washington, has been improving the health of the men and women who have so proudly served our nation. The @deptvetaffairs staff and volunteers consider it a privilege to serve Veterans living in eastern Washington and Oregon and western Idaho. We pride ourselves in giving the best care anywhere! VA is home the largest integrated health care system in the United States, providing care at more than 1700 points of care, including medical centers and outpatient sites of care, serving more than 9 million Veterans each year. #PSRW #HonoringVets #PublicServiceRecognitionWeek #wallawalla
[Scroll for photos] To quote @rpublicservice: "Rory Cooper was in the Army serving in Germany when a bicycle accident left him paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. That event has shaped his life’s work on behalf of the disabled as a research biomedical engineer." Rory Cooper, Ph.D., directs the Human Engineering Research Laboratories, a collaboration between the VA Pittsburgh Health Care System and the University of Pittsburgh. Yesterday, he was named as a finalist for the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals, known as the "Sammies." It's one of the most prestigious awards federal public servants can receive. Rory says the need to serve is what motivates him. “My time in the Army drives me to do the work I do,’’ he told the Partnership for Public Service. “I get my energy from the Veterans. If you have the ability to make a difference, you also have an obligation.” Thank you for your service, Rory, and congratulations on being named a #Sammies2017 finalist! #PSRW #HonoringVets #PublicServiceRecognitionWeek
We hope you’ve enjoyed this inside look at the work VA employees do every day. Here’s one last photo from our @deptvetaffairs digital team – a sneak peek behind the scenes as we tape the next episode of The American Veteran at the Defense Media Activity studios at Fort Meade. The American Veteran is a quarterly half-hour video program that highlights VA’s services and the benefits Veterans have earned. Keep an eye out for the show and follow the latest news from VA on our VAntage Point blog at www.blogs.va.gov. #PSRW #HonoringVets #PublicServiceRecognitionWeek