ANAVETS Shoulder to Shoulder

November 2017

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26 SHOULDER TO SHOULDER M ore Veterans are now eligible for priority access to long-term care funded by Veterans' Affairs Canada (VAC). In recent months, VAC has negotiated a series of new agreements with long-term care facilities and provincial health authorities. In May, VAC, the province of Ontario, and the Perley and Rideau Veterans' Health Centre celebrated the announcement of 25 Specialized Veterans beds. "We're delighted that Veterans Affairs and the Champlain Local Health Integration Network have agreed to help us care for these men and women," says Akos Hoffer, the CEO of the Health Centre. "We have the facilities, expertise and experience needed to meet the unique needs of Veterans." "VAC is thrilled with this new partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, and the Perley and Rideau Veterans' Health Centre," says Lynne McCloskey, Veterans Affairs Canada's acting director of long-term care and disability benefits. "Ultimately, we want to ensure that Veterans get the care that they deserve and need." The agreement runs for two years and is similar to five others negotiated during the last year with facilities across Canada. The latest – announced May 30th – provides for 10 beds at Veterans Memorial Lodge at Broadmead in Victoria, British Columbia. VAC also has an agreement in place for up to 25 beds at Camp Hill Veterans Memorial Building in Halifax, Nova Scotia; 10 beds at Parkwood Institute in London, Ontario; 30 beds at Sunnybrook in Toronto and 10 beds at the Carewest Colonel Belcher facility in Calgary, Alberta. All of these facilities continue to also care for Veterans of the Second World War and Korean War. Prior to these agreements, VAC only provided priority admission to long-term care for Veterans who served overseas during the Second World War or the Korean War. Now priority access is also available to Veterans who served in Canada for a minimum of 365 days and are income qualified, as well as to Canadian Armed Forces and Allied Veterans. The agreements represent the latest chapter in the long and complex story of how Canada cares for its Veterans. During World War I, the Government of Canada began to establish facilities for injured Veterans. By the end of the Second World War, Veterans' Affairs Canada operated and funded a network of 40 facilities across the country. Since then, the number of Veterans in need of acute and long-term care, and rehabilitative services, has declined steadily. By the mid-1950s only 18 facilities still operated. More Veterans Now Eligible for Long-Term Care By Peter McKinnon Major (ret'd) Gerald (Gerry) Bowen (in the wheel chair) In 1942, one month shy of his 17th birthday, Gerry forged a document so that he could enlist to fight in the Second World War. He joined the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve and served In the North Atlantic, the English Channel, the North Sea, the Irish Sea and the Caribbean. Following the war he took a civilian job but, he admits, it didn't quench his thirst for adventure and variety of duties. He then joined the Army, serving in the Royal 22nd Regiment – The Van Doos – during the Korean War. He went on to serve in Cypress, Israel, Lebanon and Germany. Major Gerry Bowen retired from service after 32 years.

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