By Donald Lachman, Special Projects Coordinator and Andrea Talmadge, Regional Coordinator – WestCare Washington/WAServes
As we continue to coordinate the delivery of quality services during a pandemic, WestCare Washington (WCWA) / WAServes has successfully positioned itself for a future of celebrating growth, influence, and sustainability. During 2021, we have nurtured select community relationships. Among the goals that we have set, we aim to:
- Increase targeted providers’ awareness and appreciation for the abundant resources available to support the needs of Veterans and their dependents.
- Demonstrate the value of the unique expertise and capabilities of WCWA; and
- Advance a sustainable pilot funding model where a portion of savings realized from our contribution to a Veterans’ care is reinvested into WCWA and WAServe’s operations costs.
A key element of our messaging to this assembly of providers highlighted a vital fact: Scores of health and social services organizations are currently assisting Veterans, but are leaving millions of dollars in unclaimed resources on the table. We stressed the existence of a growing inventory of benefits and programming exclusively for Veterans with the influence to lessen poverty, reduce hospital readmissions, diminish overuse of first responders and promote health stability.
The response to our focused outreach and messaging has exceeded all expectations. The providers joining WCWA in collaborative service visioning are recognized leaders in the delivery of health care, library systems, nutritional and senior technology programming, and communications.
They share an interest and often a formal mission to better the lives of Veterans. “Intrigued by the possibilities,” was the response of one regional health care leader and so are we! According to the VA’s website they manage a whopping $1.6 billion in compensation and pension benefits to Washington State Veterans annually! We intend to grow that annual amount by increasing the number of Veterans who access their unclaimed benefits and pensions earned through their service to our country.