Veterans Administration’s 4th Mission
By Katherine Voss
To meet the needs of President Lincoln’s vision, “To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan,” Veterans Administration (VA) has established four missions: Veterans’ health care, Veterans’ benefits, National cemeteries, and to improve preparedness and act in response to war, terrorism, national emergencies, and natural disasters.
During this year’s state of emergency with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, VA provided significant resources to support communities in need.
These resources include the distribution of personnel/staff, personal protective equipment (PPE), infection prevention equipment, telehealth technologies, COVID-19 testing kits, and vaccination site support to state Veterans Homes, Community Nursing Homes, Indian Health Services and Navajo Nation, non-VA hospitals, and vaccine distribution sites.
As of April 2021, 488 non-Veteran COVID-19 patients had been admitted to VA facilities out of the 37,681 total COVID-19 patients admitted to VA facilities.
The expansion of VA’s 4th mission on March 24, 2021, the Strengthening and Amplifying Vaccination Efforts to Locally Immunize All Veterans and Every Spouse Act or the SAVE LIVES Act was passed.
This law authorized VA to provide COVID-19 vaccines to all Veterans (including those who are not eligible to enroll in the VA healthcare system), Veteran’s spouses and eligible beneficiaries, and Veteran caregivers (VA’s Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers, VA’s Program of General Caregiver Support Services, VA’s Medical Foster Home Program, Bowel and Bladder Program, Home Based Primary Care Program, or Veteran Directed Care Program).
Katherine Voss, AGNP-C
For VA services available in your area or for additional information about VA’s 4th Mission, please visit the following websites: