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Saturday, May 26, 2018
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Bay Pines VA meetings set to explain care improvements

The director of the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System will hold a new series of meetings with veterans service organizations, Congressional district office staff and other “stakeholders” to explain “efforts to improve health care access for the veterans we serve,” she announced Tuesday in a message to those groups and individuals.

“These meetings will be conducted in addition to our regularly scheduled Veteran Service Officer/Congressional Caseworker meetings that occur on a quarterly basis at each of our facility locations,” Suzanne Klinker said in her message.

She said that unlike the quarterly, face-to-face gatherings already held, “these meetings will be conducted via video teleconference. You will have the option to attend in person at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center in Bay Pines or connect virtually from the Lee County VA Healthcare Center in Cape Coral.”

The meetings, all scheduled to start at 10 a.m. and last an hour, will be held Aug. 22, Oct. 31 and Nov. 21, Klinker told the interested parties, which includes veterans service organizations like the American Legion, AMVETS, Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed American Veterans and others as well as county and state veterans officials and Congressional district offices in the region covered by the Bay Pines system, according to spokesman Jason Dangel.

Those wishing to attend are being asked to contact the Office of Public Affairs, she said.

“We recognize that timely access to care is essential to positive outcomes and remain committed to improving health care access across southwest Florida as the veteran population continues to change and grow,” Klinker wrote in her message. “Across our health care system we continue to make positive strides to improve access for the veterans we serve, and are truly fortunate to have so many stakeholders committed to doing what is right for the veterans. I always welcome your feedback as we continue to improve in order to best meet the needs and expectations of the veterans we have the privilege to serve.”

The Rev. Bob Swick, who represents veterans across the region, lauded Klinker’s efforts.

“Keeping us informed is a most important responsibility of Bay Pines,” said Swick in an email to veterans. “We applaud Director Klinker’s initiative and encourage her to continue with announcements and updates going forward.”

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