West Palm Beach VA Supports ‘Fourth Mission’ COVID-19 Response

West Palm Beach VA Medical Center's Mission Assignment teams are providing support to community nursing homes in South Florida as part of VA's Fourth Mission. Pictured here are clinicians from one of the two teams: (L-R) (Team A), Dr. Guillermo Lopez, Mark VanBurleren, Jerri Nicholson, Lynn Warren, Christopher Varner and Matthew Saunders.

The West Palm Beach VA Medical Center continues to support the Department of Veterans Affairs’ “Fourth Mission” in helping Floridians during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“The West Palm Beach VA Medical Center is proud to help our region in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” West Palm Beach VA Medical Center Interim Director Cory Price said. “Our highly-skilled, all-volunteer team of medical professionals has selflessly taken on this task. It is truly an honor for us to serve alongside our colleagues in community medical facilities.”

As part of a statewide tasking through an official FEMA Mission Assignment, two teams are providing support to community nursing homes in the area. The six-person teams include a physician or advanced nurse practitioner, two registered nurses, two nursing assistants and one therapist (occupational/physical therapist). Additional teams are on stand-by should they be needed.

Support has been provided to 30 long term care facilities across the state. Depending on facility needs, teams have provided staff augmentation, training and education on proper use of PPE and infection control, assisting with review of standard operating procedures and recommendations for modifications for COVID-19 cases to protect patients and staff from exposure.

“Our teams have worked in various facilities over past few weeks and have a very positive outlook on the experience,” Chief of Social Work Service and Mission Assignment Coordinator Kerri Boyd said. “We are pleased to help with this mission and are striving to make a positive impact on the lives of those in need during this unprecedented time.”

The VA traditionally provides veterans’ healthcare, benefits and memorial affairs. In times of national crisis, such as the current pandemic, the VA can also provide services to the nation based on requests from states. This is known as VA’s Fourth Mission.