Phone-a-thon connects local veterans to health care services

The Veterans Affairs Illiana Health Care System in Danville held a phone-a-thon for the first time since 2013. (WCCU)

Connecting veterans to the health care they need one phone call at a time — the Veterans Affairs Illiana Health Care System in Danville held a phone-a-thon Wednesday for the first time since 2013. The staff at the VA said they’re hoping to improve the health and well-being of those who served the country.

“I think a lot of veterans may not even know they’re even eligible for health care here,” public affairs officer at the VA, Todd Oliver said. “With us reaching out we can help them understand a little better one of the benefits they earned.”

Through the VA, veterans can receive countless benefits.

“It could be anything we can talk to them about pharmacy, about general medicine, mental health services…we have a wide variety of services,” Oliver said.

The list includes substance abuse treatment program, women’s health and surgery services.

“This isn’t just focusing on Danville this is focusing on our entire area of 34 different counties,” patient safety manager at the VA, Geri Young said. “So all four of our community based outpatient clinics are participating in this and there’s a lot of time that goes into [the phone-a-thon] making sure that we have the most updated list available.”

The VA made 1,000 successful calls in 2013, this year the goal is to make more than that. The staff said they’ll know exactly how many veterans they were able to reach by the end of the week.

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