By: Megan Way and Su Phelps | Photos by: Su Phelps and Lawrence Oravetz
On February 2nd, the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System, VA Reno Regional Benefits Office and Southern Nevada Veterans Community Engagement Board co-hosted a Veterans Transition Fair (10am to 3pm) and quarterly Veterans town hall meeting (11am to 12pm) to update the veterans, active duty, national guard, reserve, families and caregivers on VA services and community care. The events also featured a workshop (12:30pm to 3:30pm) to assist transitioning service members and recently separated Veterans with information on VA benefits, health care, and education programs. Phellep “Phil” Snow was the MC for the afternoon workshop.
As the culmination of the chamber’s second Veterans Back To Work Boot Camp, the event aimed to connect graduates of the program with local career options. Graduates of the program and other military veterans could talk to representatives from participating businesses and organizations, drop-off resumes and more during the event.
Special accommodations were made to have representatives from benefits, billing, enrollment and eligibility, non-VA care, and patient advocacy on hand the entire day to assist Veterans’ with their individual concerns and needs. Representatives from numerous other VA services attended.
The quarterly town hall included updates from local VA Veterans health care and benefits leaders on national and local activities and initiatives with Charles Ramey as the MC, and speakers Ms. Peggy Kearns- Director, VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System, Mr. Dana “Allen” Shockley, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor/VSOC, Veterans Benefits Administration Reno Regional Office and Dr. Ramu Komanduri, Chief of Staff, VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System. Peggy Kearns gave a brief update on the healthcare system.
“So, I’ve got just a small little presentation to go over with you here. So, I just wanted to review what has happened over the last fiscal year. This year we treated 63,000 veterans that’s about a 2.8 percent increase over the year, right now our growth since the start of the fiscal year were at right about four and a half percent so we’ll continue to grow here and I don’t know how many of you know this, but down the road from here on 215 they’re going to be building about 8,000 houses over the next ten years and so that’s going to mean even more veterans moving in so this facility is going to continue to grow.”
Following the town hall there was Q&A session where a moderator asked leaders pre-submitted questions or questions of general interest submitted on a comment card prior to or during the town hall.