On behalf of the 600 employees of the James E. Van Zandt VA Medical Center who provide health care and support services for 25,000 veterans in our 14-county region, I wish to share some thoughts on this Veterans Day.
President Abraham Lincoln charged us with these words: "With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan to do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations."
At a time when our nation is still at war, we provide care to America's veterans from World War II all the way through today's service members returning from the battle fronts. We provide health care for the wounds of war, both seen and unseen.
Our services range from primary care to specialty care, to behavioral health, to physical therapy, to nursing care and much more.
While many remember the days of the "Veterans Hospital," VA health care has advanced and changed over the years to provide state of the art treatment, which includes the most modern technologies and stringent performance standards.
The Van Zandt VA Medical Center, located in Altoona, has community-based outpatient clinics in Johnstown, State College and DuBois, and last summer we received approval to open clinics in Indiana and Huntingdon.
Serving veterans in a mostly rural region, requires creative use of our resources, including tele-health technologies and transportation networks. Veterans and all citizens can be assured that we provide the best health care while being mindful of the tax dollars that are allocated to us.
As we seek to transform VA into a 21st century organization, we will continually challenge ourselves to find ways of working smarter and more efficiently.
We will continue to aggressively leverage the world's best practices, our knowledge base and our emerging technologies to increase our capabilities in areas such as health care, information management and service delivery. It will require transforming VA into an agile, adaptive organization that is capable of leading change.
William H. Mills
Van Zandt VA Medical Center Director