Program gives hospital staffs opportunity to thank patients for military service
Covenant Health has introduced a new initiative to recognize and thank patients who are veterans or on active military status. This initiative was put in place at Covenant Health hospitals, including LeConte Medical Center, on Nov. 3, 2020.
Of the 17 million veterans in the U.S., only about one-third receive hospital care at Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities, while the other two-thirds receive hospital care at civilian hospitals.
Covenant Health’s new program will help identify veterans as part of the hospitals’ admission process. Case managers have information on hand to help connect military service men and women with VA healthcare and other possible benefits.
Clinical social worker Cindy Winterberger, LMSW, has coordinated a military recognition program as part of her responsibilities at Covenant HomeCare and Hospice, and she has been integral in implementing training and activities related to active military and veterans’ care at Covenant Health.
Winterberger explained that questions about military service have been added to the hospitals’ patient admission process. “It creates a moment for our staff to thank and honor that person. When a patient has been identified as having served, they will be offered a special pin and certificate thanking them for their service and sacrifice,” she said. Winterberger added that noting military information in a patient’s file will be helpful for recognition if the patient has any future admissions to Covenant Health hospitals.
Rachel McAdams, RN, serves as the military recognition team leader for LeConte Medical Center. Since launching the program on November 3, the hospital has recognized six veteran patients with pinning ceremonies. McAdams, who serves as the nursing education coordinator, is also an U.S. Army veteran. “I am honored to recognize fellow veterans who have given so much for our country. I hope that each pinning ceremony serves as a bright spot for veteran patients during their hospital stay,” said McAdams.