VA Maryland Health Care System
Selected for the Spirit Award
The Department of Veterans Affairs recently recognized the VA Maryland Health Care System with The American Spirit Award for Excellence in the military recruitment category. The Voluntary Service office earned the award for its highly successful recruitment of active duty military volunteers throughout the health system. One of its significant partnerships is between the Perry Point VA Medical Center and Aberdeen Proving Ground —Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors group.
“Active duty military personnel play a vital role in enhancing the morale among our military veterans,” said Dr. Adam M. Robinson, Jr., director of the VA Maryland Health Care System and a U.S. Navy Veteran. “Aside from the benefits of interactions with younger individuals, our veteran patients really enjoy sharing war stories with fellow military personnel who can truly relate to their experiences.”
Each of the three VA medical centers that are part of the VA Maryland Health Care System (the Baltimore, Loch Raven and Perry Point VA Medical Centers) developed their own innovative recruitment efforts aimed at specifically conducting outreach to local military installations to gain support for veteran inpatient programming. In addition to the support received from Aberdeen Proving Ground, active duty military groups from the U.S. Naval Academy, Fort Meade U.S. Army Advanced and Senior Leader Courses, U.S. Coast Guard Yard, U.S. Air Force Strolling Strings, 78th and 229th U.S. Army Bands, and Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps conduct annual visit and holiday activities throughout the health care system.
“We are thrilled that our Voluntary Service program has been recognized for its efforts in engaging active duty military personnel to support the needs of our veteran patients,” said R. David Edwards, chief of Public and Community Relations for the VA Maryland Health Care System.
“There is nothing more rewarding to me than to witness the interactions between active duty service members and our veteran inpatients,” said Susan Kern, program manager for Voluntary Service for the VA Maryland Health Care system. “The admiration of the active duty personnel towards our veterans who have served and the respect for the active duty members who are serving now from our veteran patients is inspiring,”
The American Spirit Award is a national honor created by the Department of Veterans Affairs to recognize highly successful volunteer recruitment initiatives in four different categories: student recruitment, senior recruitment, corporate recruitment and military recruitment. In addition to the support received from active duty military personnel are more than 800 community volunteers who contribute over 98,000 hours of service throughout the VA Maryland Health Care System each year.