Every day is Veterans Day at Van Zandt

On Saturday, Nov. 11, we pause to honor more than 20 million living veterans who answered a nation’s call.

For more than 241 years of independence, patriots like them have stood watch over our liberty.

Veterans’ sacrifices have given us the security and freedom in which to grow and flourish as a nation — in law, human rights, economics, science and technology, business and the arts.

Every day is Veterans Day at the James E. Van Zandt VA Medical Center as it is our honor to help the nation repay its debt to America’s veterans.

To keep that covenant, VA is modernizing the way it delivers support to better meet the ever-increasing demand for their benefits and care.

Our measure of success will be the timeliness and the quality of the services and support we provide to veterans, not our promises.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is undergoing a transformation led by VA Secretary David Shulkin.

Secretary Shulkin’s five priorities, include, greater choice, modernizing systems, focusing resources, improved timeliness of care and suicide prevention.

In this region, the James E. Van Zandt VA Medical Center and our VA outpatient clinics in DuBois, Huntingdon, Indiana, Johnstown, and State College is following Shulkin’s lead and working to improve services for the 26,000 veterans in the 14-county region we serve.

I am very proud to be part of this VA community for just over one month as director, and I am proud to serve veterans in our region.

I can tell you that the staff is second to none, and veterans are the highest priority.

We continue to evaluate the services that are needed in the community and we are creating unique ways to meet the needs of veterans ranging from home based primary care to telehealth.

Bringing the right services to veterans at the right time and in the right place is the most important work we do at VA.

We want veterans to choose VA, because they want to, not because they have to. To all those who have faithfully served, and those serving today, we thank you.

If you are or you know a veteran who is not enrolled for VA health care, I encourage you to complete an application to determine whether you are eligible to receive free VA health care.

Call us at (877) 626-2500 if you want more information.

Sigrid Andrew is the director of the James E. Van Zandt VA Medical Center in Altoona.

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