We are grateful for your service to our nation
To the Editor: As the Interim Director of the Coatesville VA Medical Center (VAMC), I am proud to be part of a team of dedicated professionals and volunteers, working together to provide our Veterans with comprehensive health care. Our health services include primary care, mental health, geriatrics and a variety of specialty services. I encourage every Veteran to take advantage of their benefits and to enroll with the VA Health Care System. The process is simple and can be accomplished by contacting our enrollment office at (610) 383-0266 where your eligibility for service can be determined.
We would also like to welcome members of the community to participate in some of the events we have planned to commemorate Veterans Day this year. From November 2 thru 11, 2016, we will be saluting Veterans with a host of activities, such as a parade, flag raising ceremonies, banquets and social events. Several of our events are open to the community and we welcome you to join us as we pause to reflect on the service and sacrifices made by our Veterans. A full listing of those events as well as the health care services we offer can be found on our website at www.coatesville.va.gov.
As the health care provider for Veterans in this region, our goal is to make each Veteran’s experience with us an exceptional one, through excellent customer service and the provision of high quality, safe, and effective health care. We are privileged to care for Veterans from their discharge from military service until the end of their life, and it is a duty we take very seriously.
Our medical center routinely undergoes extensive reviews by various professional internal and external organizations to validate the quality of our services and health care. In September, we completed a successful survey by the Commission on Accreditation Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). The CARF surveyors identified numerous strengths including: our approach to crisis intervention, coordination of care, staff courtesy and the overall culture of the medical center. The American Customer Satisfaction Index survey among Veterans ranks satisfaction with VA health care among the best.
In 2015, the Coatesville VAMC served 19,880 Veterans, including 950 women, for a total of 251,526 outpatient visits. We continually work on improving access and providing care to more Veterans. To improve the convenience of receiving VA care, enrolled Veterans are now able to schedule audiology and eye care appointments without a referral from a primary care provider. Patients who have registered for “My HealtheVet” are also able to send secure messages from their computer directly to their health care team.
On behalf of our employees, I thank the Veterans and their families who come to our facility for the privilege of entrusting us with your health care needs. We are grateful for your service to our nation and the sacrifices you have made to preserve our freedom and we are honored to serve you. We wish everyone a happy and safe Veterans Day.
Sincerely, allowed some legislators to vote on significant bills with far-reaching impacts when they were no longer accountable to voters. Lame duck sessions have historically been breeding grounds for controversial bills and bad legislation.
This situation is clearly the exception to that rule. The pet protection bill enjoys broad support from both sides of the aisle, and people from all walks of life have advocated strongly for its passage. There is no significant opposition to this bill from any special interest group, government entity and grassroots organization, and passage does not require any rule-bending or circumvention of the legislative process. Criticism of the bill is almost non-existent. The only people who would benefit from the defeat of this measure are people who abuse and mistreat innocent animals.
Passing this bill would likely be the easiest vote lawmakers will make during the entire 2015-16 legislative session. In truth, the bill’s greatest enemy right now is the apathy of a few select lawmakers.
One of the most persistent complaints we hear about government is that elected officials don’t listen to their constituents. We can’t expect to change that perception if we fail to take action on a bill like this one when it is within our power to do so. The simple truth is that there is no good reason that this bill should be allowed to die on the House calendar. I urge all Pennsylvanians to contact their state Representative to demand action on House Bill 869 when they return to Harrisburg on November 14.