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Providence VA Medical Center, Rhode Island

 

Adaptive Summer Sports Clinic

Air Force Veteran James Killingham, a resident of Providence, R.I., and patient of the Providence VA Medical Center, water skiing on Johnson's Pond in Coventry, R.I., Tuesday, July 18, 2017, during the VA New England Healthcare System's Summer Sports Clinic.

Air Force Veteran James Killingham, a resident of Providence, R.I., and patient of the Providence VA Medical Center, water skiing on Johnson's Pond in Coventry, R.I., Tuesday, July 18, 2017, during the VA New England Healthcare System's Summer Sports Clinic. This was Killingham's second year participating in the special rehabilitation-related sporting clinic, which he said he found, “Empowering, invigorating and gratifying!” Support for water skiing was provided by LOF Adaptive Skiers from Sandy Hook, Conn. (Providence VA Medical Center photo by Winfield Danielson)

By Winfield S. Danielson III, Public Affairs Officer
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Approximately 50 disabled Veterans gathered in Rhode Island July 17 through 20 for the Veterans Summer Sports Clinic, a special rehabilitation-related sporting event by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the VA New England Healthcare System, the Providence VA Medical Center and the VA Boston Health Care System.

Air Force Veteran George St. Hilaire, a patient of the Manchester VA Medical Center has been participating in the special rehabilitation-related sporting clinic for so many years, he said he lost count. "What would keep me away?" he wondered, when asked what brings him back year after year.

Navy Seabee Veteran Jim Tynan, a patient of the Brockton VA Medical Center and resident of Taunton, Mass., paddles a kayak at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, R.I., Wednesday, July 19, 2017, during the VA New England Healthcare System's Summer Sports Clinic.

Navy Seabee Veteran Jim Tynan, a patient of the Brockton VA Medical Center and resident of Taunton, Mass., paddles a kayak at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, R.I., Wednesday, July 19, 2017, during the VA New England Healthcare System's Summer Sports Clinic. This was Tynan's third year participating in the special rehabilitation-related sporting event. "To be able to do this stuff, be out with these people, it's a great experience," he said about the clinic. Support for kayaking was provided by the New England Healing Sports Association of Newbury, N.H. (Providence VA Medical Center photo by Winfield Danielson)

"The Summer Sports Clinic is a very powerful event for the Veterans and volunteers," said Dr. Susan MacKenzie, Providence VAMC director. "It helps participants change their focus from activities they might think they can't do anymore to a wide range of things they can do, and it builds camaraderie as experienced participants share the challenges they've overcome."

Army Veteran Tina Lavallee, a patient of the Providence VA Medical Center and resident of Foster, R.I., bikes in a hand-powered tricycle along the Greenway Bike Path in Coventry, R.I., Tuesday, July 18, 2017, during the VA New England Healthcare System's Summer Sports Clinic cycling event.

Army Veteran Tina Lavallee, a patient of the Providence VA Medical Center and resident of Foster, R.I., bikes in a hand-powered tricycle along the Greenway Bike Path in Coventry, R.I., Tuesday, July 18, 2017, during the VA New England Healthcare System's Summer Sports Clinic cycling event. In the middle is caregiver Alicia McCormick, from Foster, and in the dark blue shirt is volunteer Susan Neimic, from the Providence VAMC. Support for cycling was provided by Northeast Passage of Durham, N.H, and Bike-On of Warwick, R.I. (Providence VA Medical Center photo by Winfield Danielson)

This was the second year for Army Veteran Tina Lavallee, a patient of the Providence VAMC. "I was a shut-in before I started this," she said. "Last year I found myself and I exploded — you can't keep me inside anymore!"

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