Metro-East News

VA to hold National Access Stand Down event on Saturday for veterans in need of medical care

Military veterans who’ve been waiting for needed medical care will be getting a big break on Saturday.

That’s when the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has scheduled its second National Access Stand Down event for dozens of hospitals and clinics nationwide. In St. Louis, the John Cochran VA Hospital, at 915 North Grand Ave., will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Medical care will be provided by clinical leaders, administrators and volunteers on site at every VA medical center nationwide.

The Access Stand Down is not a walk-in clinic, and is for scheduled appointments only. The hospital’s nurses and physicians “have been scheduling veterans with urgent needs for this coming Saturday,” said Lulu Liang, the facility’s voluntary services coordinator.

To find out more, veterans can go to Twitter and click on hashtag ‪#YourVACareNow‬.

Veterans should contact their Patient Aligned Care Team, or PACT, with questions about the urgency of their condition.

All veterans are encouraged to attend the hospital wellness fair, which is also scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to p.m. at the John Cochran facility. Staff at the wellness fair will provide veterans with heart-healthy educational material and resources for health and well-being, as well as offering relaxation exercises and massage therapy. Healthy refreshments will be provided by Veterans Canteen Service.

“VA’s ability to meet the urgent health needs of our Veterans remains a priority for VA and the nation,” according to a statement the agency released on its Facebook page. “As long as there is even a single Veteran with an urgent care need that we are not meeting in a timely fashion, we will not be satisfied.”

During the first Access Stand Down Saturday, held last November, about 200 veterans were seen in the Cochran hospital’s primary care and various sub-specialties, including cardiology, urology, gastro-enterology, podiatry, mental health, dental and imaging, according to Liang.

Mike Fitzgerald: 618-239-2533, @MikeFitz3000