Providence VA Medical Center, Rhode Island
Setting the Example: Rhode Island National Guard Commanding General Enrolls at PVAMC
When the Providence VA Medical Center opened its nationally-recognized Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) Clinic back in February 2010, the goal was to provide new OEF/OIF Veterans a one-stop shopping model of integrative primary and behavioral healthcare as well as an opportunity to seek after-hours care. The Clinic became an overnight success and, to date, has nearly 500 newly-established patients. It was recently redesignated as the OEF/OIF/OND Post-Deployment Clinic to include Veterans participating in Operation New Dawn and now provides Veterans with both their initial and follow-up appointments.
On May 25, the Clinic welcomed one of its newest enrollees. Major General Robert Bray, Commanding General of the Rhode Island National Guard and Adjutant for the State of Rhode Island, joined the long list of newly-established patients who have enrolled and are receiving their healthcare here at Providence VAMC. Just like every other Veteran who establishes care with the VA, MG Bray underwent what, in VA lingo, is called a vesting examination which includes a primary care screen as well as mental health and traumatic brain injury (TBI) screens. He also met with representatives from the Providence VA Regional Office, the Vet Success on Campus Program, and the local Wounded Warrior Project. “The Providence VAMC’s implementation of the OEF/OIF Clinic has provided a unique one-stop shopping model of care for our Veterans,” MG Bray commented after his visit. “The service is fantastic, but it is the VA’s employees that make the difference. Especially their smiles.”
MG Bray recently tendered his resignation from his position as State Adjutant and Commanding General, Rhode Island National Guard, effective June 30, 2011. He was appointed Adjutant General by former governor Donald Carcieri and assumed command of the 3200 member Rhode Island National Guard on February 17, 2006. MG Bray is also credited with rebuilding the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency as its Director, a position for which the state’s Adjutant General is also charged. Under his direction, the agency has been restructured and is at near-full capacity. The agency was lauded for its response to the historical floods of 2010.
The Providence VAMC’s OEF/OIF/OND Clinic is open Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., excluding Federal holidays. For more information about this Clinic or the OEF/OIF/OND program, please contact Erin Butler, LICSW, at (401) 273-7100, ext. 6401, or Rochelle Fortin, LICSW, at (401) 273-7100, ext. 6137.