Variant growth gives a new priority to the importance of full vaccination
•In the United States, deaths and hospitalizations continue to decline. While about 66% of US adults have received at least one vaccine shot, there is new concern about the rising growth of the Delta variant, a strain of COVID-19 believed to be more transmissible and dangerous than others. It is expected to strike especially vulnerable pockets of the country – those with low vaccination rates and low rates of prior infection, especially in rural and southern communities.
•In addition to expanding its vaccination outreach campaign aimed at minority and under-served Veteran populations, VHA is also reaching out to Veterans, spouses and caregivers who received only one dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, urging them to obtain their second dose as soon as possible, as there is considerably better protection against this variant when fully vaccinated.
•VHA staff members and leaders are asked to complete a Safety Standdown meeting with their teams through June 30, 2021, to address culture-of-safety themes, in order to reinforce VHA’s commitment to safe, high quality and reliable care. This includes VACO program offices.
•The 2021 All Employee Survey (AES) continues to run through June 28. Your input will help all of us address the issues that affect VA’s ability to deliver high-quality care and services to Veterans.
•While Pride Month is coming to an end, VHA continues to promote services to the LGBTQ+ community and raise awareness so we may together create a safe and inclusive environment for all Veterans and employees. Last week Secretary McDonough announced that the Department is taking steps to expand VA’s care to transgender Veterans and include gender-affirming surgery. The Office of IT is sponsoring a LinkedIn Roundtable on June 30, discussing expanding diversity in technology jobs in the Federal workforce and elsewhere.
•June was also PTSD Awareness Month, and VA’s National Center for PTSD is the leading research and educational center of excellence on PTSD and traumatic stress. It has developed many tools to raise awareness.
•VHA is promoting July to Be Involved in Your Health Care Month with many tools to empower Veterans and employees to take an active role in improving health.
75 Videos for 75 Years
•As part of its celebration of our 75 Anniversary and its theme of “A Legacy of Service. The Future of Care,” VHA is introducing the first of a series of 75 short videos introducing unique innovations and services that VHA has developed. Over the course of this year, these new products will be promoted with social media, blogs, Veteran News Network broadcasts, and local VAMC websites. Of note, these videos focus on the impact of VHA care on Veterans’ lives and are written and filmed by a mostly Veteran crew.
Did you know?
•Did you know that VA pioneered the concepts that led to the computerized axial tomography (CAT scan) in 1961? #DidYouKnowVA
•Did you know that, also in 1961, the first successful liver transplants were performed at the Denver VAMC and techniques were developed for suppressing the body’s natural attempt to reject transplanted tissue? #DidYouKnowVA