News and Events

veterans in the community

VOICES – Veteran outreach in the community expands social support

Connecting with others plays an important role in physical and mental health, and getting Veterans and their supporters together regularly – whether for a chat over food, a bowling night or volunteer activity – can build social connections and improve attendees’ mental well-being. VOICES events are designed to foster interpersonal connections and social support among community members, including Veterans of all ages and service branches. Developed with input from Veterans,

armed forces blood program

Armed Services Blood Program Urges Donors to Step Up

The Armed Services Blood Program says donations are down and is encouraging volunteers to step up and donate blood to replenish the supply. Adequate blood supplies are a critical part of a ready medical force and medical providers must have everything they need to complete their mission, including blood. A donation can be done in as little as one hour and yield lifesaving blood products for surgical procedures, traumatic injuries, chronic

vaccine boosters

Why is the booster crucial right now?

With the Omicron variant dominant in the U.S., there has been a lot of talk about booster shots for COVID-19 vaccines. Hear Dr. Vivian Vega, Tampa VA attending physician, Infectious Disease, answer the most asked questions about the vaccine and booster. While the vaccines have been shown to be safe and highly effective at both preventing the disease and lessening the effects in breakthrough cases, the data is becoming clear just

debt transitioning

Copayment debt relief options available to Veterans

Copayment collections and statements for medical care and pharmacy services might seem overwhelming, especially this time of year, but debt relief programs are available and accessible to Veterans. Debt relief options such as repayment plans, waivers and compromises are available: https://www.va.gov/COMMUNITYCARE/revenue_ops/Financial_Hardship.asp or call 866-400-1238, Monday – Friday, 8AM – 8PM ET to learn more. learn more  

being the best you

Healthy habits: You have it in you

During your time in the service, you gained the tools needed to live an active, healthy lifestyle, but the demands of life after leaving active duty may have gotten in the way of these healthy habits. The VA is here to help. The first step is to meet with your VA health care provider. They can help you make a customized health plan with realistic and achievable goals. learn

soldiers sleeping

Tips to Get Better, More Restful Sleep

Ideally, adults should get between 7-8 hours of sleep each night. However, being deployed may not always make it possible for service members to get proper sleep, but experts recommend they try to adopt healthy sleep practices as much as possible. Long-term sleeping problems can affect your mental health, relationships, quality of life, and performance at work. learn more  

mittens

Don’t Underestimate Mother Nature: Winter Safety Tips for Cold Weather

The worst mistake you can make in wintertime is to underestimate what challenges nature is capable of and overestimate your own abilities. Never forget the power of nature and its effects, especially if exploring outdoors during the coldest months of the year. Two crucial aspects of retaining readiness in winter climates are nutrition and liquids uptake, and the same safety tips apply to hikers, skiers and campers. learn more

helping hand

Helpful advice for handling holiday stress

Holidays can be stressful for Veterans and caregivers – a reminder of loss, trauma and grief, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic – and the VA offers tips on how to manage added #stress this time of year. If the holidays bring on painful reminders of trauma or loss, make time for yourself and know your limits. Do things you enjoy. This will build your resilience and act as a buffer

military to civilian

Sponsorship program has positive impact for transitioning service members

The ETS Sponsorship Program supports service members and their families by improving the transition experience, getting ahead of possible challenges such as employment, housing, education, or other social determinants of health. Service members can sign up for a sponsor regardless of discharge status or enrollment in VA. Sponsors are also trained to provide social support and help reduce risk factors related to Veteran suicide. If you would like to help, get involved