VA Central California Health Care System
VA CenCal Takes Part In National Baby Shower
In partnership with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, the Department of Veterans Affairs hosted a “Nationwide Baby Shower.” VA Central California Health Care System (VA CCHCS) joined 60 VA medical centers around the country that hosted baby showers, the week prior to or following Mother’s Day.
The goal of the Nationwide Baby Showers, according to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie, is to celebrate Veteran parents, to ease the stress of those first weeks of growing a family, and to assist in making sure they have what they need. The VA also offers comprehensive primary care, prenatal and preconception care, infertility services, maternity care services, to include the first seven days of newborn care, for Veterans.
Local efforts among community partners and sponsors were coordinated by Women’s Health and VA Voluntary Services. Nearly a dozen women Veterans and a couple of soon-to-be fathers attended the baby shower, which was held on May 17, in the Dogwood extension of the newly expanded Community Living Center, at VA CCHCS.
Representatives from Women Infants and Children, or WIC, a program sponsored by the Fresno Economic Opportunity Commission, presented initiatives and explained how women Veterans might access their services to receive milk and other items during and after their pregnancy. CalVet representatives were also on-hand to offer information describing state and federal benefits offered for Veterans.
VA CCHCS team members were present from several departments, including Whole Health, Nutrition and Food, Women’s Health and Mental Health services. Each area provided detailed information regarding services provided at VA CCHCS. Nursing Education service also presented demonstrations on cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, for infants.
Veterans Canteen Service provided lunch for the event, and each of the new budding families were gifted a new car seat, courtesy of Elks Fresno 300, Elks Clovis, and Our Hero’s Dream. Police Service was also in attendance, and provided live instructions on safe car seat installation. Attendees left with a new Diaper bag, donated by Disabled American Veterans, of Fresno. Several community donors and sponsors also contributed additional baby-related items, for participants.
Across the country, over 2,400 soon-to-be Veteran parents were recognized, in each of the 60 Veterans Integrated Service Networks. For a list of the facilities participating in the National Baby Shower, please logon to; https://www.va.gov/womenvet/acwv/babyShower.asp.