A red-carpet entry, the sweet sound of jazz and sass filled the main hallway of the new, impressive New Orleans VA Medical Center as more than 200 women Veterans gathered for the facility’s first Ladies Night Out.
The event was organized to help Southeast Louisiana women Veterans learn about VA services and mingle with other women Veterans.
“It was a successful event,” said Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System Director Fernando O. Rivera. “We achieved what we set out to accomplish, which was to provide an opportunity for female Veterans to get acquainted with their new medical center and the services they’ve earned.”
From the red carpet to the impromptu hallway turned dance floor and spa, women Veterans got a taste of VA health care services.
“We wanted our women Veterans to feel empowered,” said Gweneh Vilo, health promotion and disease prevention manager, about rolling out the red carpet. “A celebrity-style entrance is a great way to set the tone for the event.”
Women’s Health Clinic staff mixed and mingled as the Gallatin Street Band added smooth tunes for just the right touch. Veterans had the opportunity to meet the facility’s suicide prevention coordinator, My HealtheVet Coordinator, and military sexual trauma coordinator.
They also learned about job opportunities and other VA benefits.
“My daughter is finishing her degree and I would love for her to intern here with VA,” said Veteran who was excited about the evening’s event and impressed that there was a table of staff who could provide her with additional information.
Navy Veteran Autumn Montgomery said, “That was probably my favorite part of the night, just seeing how many other female Veterans there are here. I made some new friends!”
About the authors: This post was submitted to VAntage Point by Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System public affairs intern Jamie Dannen and public affairs officer Amanda Jones of the. Photos by Anne Marino and Hillary Rustine.