Veterans in small towns have questions too

Big city, small town, VA is there…with information AND coffee!


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About 13,000 people live in Alexandria located in the heart of lake country in West Central Minnesota.

If you go to their website, you can find a live camera feed of Viking Big Ole watching over the town.

And like every community in the country, big and small, it’s the home of some American Veterans.

There’s a VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic there where Outreach Specialist Ginger Olson recently put together a Coffee Talk for area Veterans.

Coffee Talks are informal conversations intended to provide Veterans an opportunity to have their questions about VA health care answered.

Because VA health care enrollment provides valuable benefits to Veterans and their families, both enrolled and non-enrolled Veterans are encouraged to attend the Coffee Talks to learn how to most effectively use their VA benefits.


Six people in chairs listening to a speaker


There’s a slide presentation with basic information on eligibility, the application process to all the various clinics and services provided at the VA.

The services range from primary care, mental health, telehealth, whole health, My HealtheVet and service dogs.

Ginger also updates the group on any recent changes within the VA system. Participants also learn from other Veterans through a casual open forum and there are discussions between Veterans during the open forum and after the presentation.


Two people answering questions next to a slide screen


One or two Eligibility Specialists and a Patient Advocate attend the Coffee Talks to answer any questions or concerns Veterans have about their health care.


The back of a Veteran’s hat


It’s a “casual” discussion with pots of coffee and lots of important information.

The Alexandria clinic is part of the St. Cloud VA Medical Center system.

Author

Hans Petersen

Hans Petersen is senior writer-editor for Digital Media, VHA Office of Communications. An Air Force Veteran, Hans also served two years in the Peace Corps and worked for 20 years in broadcasting before joining VA.

Comments

  1. Lou Sansevero    

    I live in rural Utah . . . when is our “coffee talk”?????

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