VA recently thanked nine Veteran friendly communities from across the country to highlight community-based efforts of improving the Veteran outcomes. These communities, who pioneered the joint community/VA partnerships called Community Veteran Engagement Boards have maximized their collective impact of local services, stakeholders, and federal/state agencies working together to improve Veteran outcomes where they live, work, and raise their families.
VA has assisted in the development of 141 Community Veteran Engagement Boards (CVEB) across the country and is spurring the formation of many more. View the entire CVEB list by clicking here.
The appreciation event occurred in Washington, D.C., on May 25, 2018, at the second America’s Warrior Partnership Community Veterans Engagement Board Task Force. As a result of a memorandum of understanding between the VA and America’s Warrior Partnership, the Community Veterans Engagement Board Task Force was formed bringing together 24 representatives and leaders from the government, including national Veteran and military service organizations and service providers, with 40 percent of membership from organizations representing community collectives.
“I support what you’re doing here today and I am very grateful for AWP’s leadership in facilitating this,” said Dr. Lynda Davis. As the chief Veterans experience officer for VA, Davis is charged with capturing the voice of the Veteran, which includes community engagement. The Veterans Experience Office then amplifies that voice, enabling VA to improve the overall Veterans experience while ensuring that Veterans, their caregivers, families and survivors remain at the center of focus.
During the task force meeting, nine Community Veterans Engagement Boards received the Veteran-Friendly Communities Appreciation Certificate, presented by VA Deputy Secretary Thomas Bowman.
|Northern Shenandoah Valley CVEB||Winchester, Virginia|
|Coastal Carolina Veterans Coalition||Jacksonville, North Carolina|
|Upstate Veterans Alliance Network||Greenville, South Carolina|
|MyVA Pikes Peak||Colorado Springs, Colorado|
|Northeast Ohio Veterans Community Task Force||Cleveland, Ohio|
|San Antonio Coalition for Veterans and Families||San Antonio, Texas|
|Military and Veterans in Greater Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania|
|Delaware Valley Veterans Consortium||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Orange County Veterans and Military Families Collaboration||Orange County, California|
Bowman amplified VA’s support and the importance of the Veteran friendly communities. “You’re doing exactly what is needed to bridge what is being done here in Washington… you’re going to help shape how we continue to enhance the ability to affect positively what needs to be done by VA in the community,” he said.
The task force participants and the Veteran friendly communities are establishing standardized measurements, benchmarks and objectives, which are achievable and meaningful regardless of the community’s demographics, population size.
Donald Carter from the Jacksonville, North Carolina, CVEB shared that “without community involvement and the other organizations that are out there, VA can’t do their job. That’s where this all comes together, as this coalition, this group.“
The framework developed by these Veteran-community innovators will serve as a best practice guidebook, to inspire other communities as they rally their Veteran stakeholders to improve the overall Veterans experience for their Veteran neighbors.