The Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center was announced as one of the winners of the 2020 Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Community Partnership Challenge by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The award recognizes VA facility partnerships with local community organizations that help Veterans and their families lead happier healthier lives.
For more than two years, Charleston VAMC has facilitated a partnership with Lowcountry Hospitality Association, known as Turnaround Tuesday. This collaboration brings together job opportunities in Charleston’s hospitality industry with a qualified Veteran workforce. Each week a recruiter for the Hospitality Association meets with Veterans at the VA and critically evaluates the skillset of the individual Veteran, then works to place them in a job that aligns with their previous experience—setting them up for a successful career. Turnaround Tuesday has placed more than 100 Veterans with jobs in the area.
“Our VA is more than just health care,” said Charleston VAMC Director Scott Isaacks. “While we work diligently to provide the best health care to our Veterans, we also have services and community partnerships that aim to care for the whole Veteran—helping them lay the foundation for a successful, independent future. Our partnership with the Lowcountry Hospitality Association is helping us do just that.”
Turnaround Tuesday’s goal is not only to employ Veterans, but to keep them employed in order to be able to have steady income they can count on to pay their bills and become independent. By partnering with a driving industry like hospitality and tourism, Veterans have an opportunity for a career that offers longevity, stability, benefits and advancement.
More than 45 facilities applied to the 2020 VHA Community Partnership Challenge. This year’s theme was “social determinants of health.” VA medical facilities were encouraged to submit entries that demonstrate how their partnerships are helping Veterans lead healthier happier lives by increasing their access to education, employment, food security, housing, spiritual support and transportation. Three VA medical centers were selected as 2020 winners.