VA secures personal protective equipment through New Hampshire connection

Acting deputy secretary recognizes partners for securing a large volume of PPE to keep front-line health care workers and communities safe


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The state of New Hampshire serves as a champion in the fight against COVID-19. The state’s leadership, community business leaders and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary’s Center for Strategic Partnerships secured scarce Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to be deployed to the VA clinical and first-responders workforce nationwide.

“Prioritizing safe delivery of care for our nation’s heroes and for VA’s workforce is the number one priority for the department,” said Acting VA Deputy Secretary Pamela Powers. “Once again, New Hampshire stands out as a leader in our nation for its collaborative nature benefiting Veterans. Governor Sununu and Dean Kamen made it possible for VA to purchase 4.5 Million masks to keep VA staff safe across the country. Having these additional resources is truly incredible and on behalf of the department, I offer our sincere gratitude.”

A FedEx cargo plane named “Macen” arrived at Manchester Airport stocked to the brim with 110,000 pounds of PPE. The cargo was secured partly with the help of New Hampshire inventor Dean Kamen. This was the third such shipment to arrive in the state.  The New Hampshire Army National Guard attended the event to support PPE deployment.

“It is a tribute to our state that we were more aggressive and proactive in our approach to readiness from the get-go,” said Maj. Gen. David J. Mikolaities, the adjutant general of the New Hampshire Army National Guard. “We didn’t wait for the need to occur; we secured the supplies so when and if the demand hits we’d be we ready with our PPE distribution.”

Powers arrived in the Granite State early Thursday morning to receive the PPE on behalf of the department and witness the collaboration efforts firsthand. She expressed gratitude on behalf of VA Secretary Robert Wilkie to the workforce at the Medical Center, Governor Sununu, Dean Kamen and the NH Army National Guardsmen for their efforts in bringing enhanced safety resources to VA’s workforce.

An early leader

VA Manchester Healthcare System took steps early on to effectively address and protect against COVID-19. Interim Director Kevin Forrest was among the first to implement single entrance and employee screening nationally, a process aligned with the facility’s high reliability practices and commitment to zero harm for staff and Veterans in its care.

Powers toured VA Manchester during her visit. As part of her visit to the facility she experienced the screening practice, including FLIR thermoscanning technology. Powers recognized the medical center’s workforce for the expedited expansion of their community living center and the nurses who responded as part of VA’s 4th Mission to support nursing homes in Massachusetts.

“The medical center is applauded for their actions to ensure safety and for their expansion work in their community living center space for non-COVID care freeing up needed critical care space for veterans at our sister VA facilities,” said Powers.  “The nursing staff who responded as part of our 4th Mission are truly exemplars among us.”

Author

VAntagePoint Contributor

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Comments

  1. Reed Scott    

    Unlike some folks, this disabled veteran thinks the VA overall
    does an incredible job of taking care of our nation’s vets. I have used them at a couple of places and am at the Richmond VA Hospital now. They have treated me with great respect and when I do find a problem, I visit the the Department Director’s Office, Patient Advocates Office, or the Director’s Office to trying to resolve whatever issues encountered. Considering the amount of Veterans that they
    treat, the amount that they miss doing a a great job for, are
    fairly low. Try using your PCP doctor and staff to start the process and then move up as described above. And don’t forget, you have the right to let your Congressional Representatives and Senators know about both, the successes and the problems. I’m awaiting my last preop test
    today, before going into surgery tomorrow and again on
    Monday. And, IF I bought into the premis that they screw everything up, you can safely bet that no way would I be putting my life on the line right now. Give it another try using
    What is outlined above. God Bless!!

  2. Barry Litchfield    

    The federal government, in general, is pretty good at screwing stuff up. The VA specializes in screwing stuff up. When you put it all together, you have excellent odds of successfully screwing up whatever you’re trying to do.

  3. Paul Signet    

    Can’t the VA as part of the US government get the needed equipment via the FEMA et al system. Or is someone hoarding the material or FEMA is unable to do its job?

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