February 2013: $25,000 to Connect Rural Veterans with Medical Care

March 15, 2013

in Grant Update, News

Board presents large novelty check to support the new transportation program in North West Minnesota.

Board members present a check to MACVSO to connect rural veterans with health care services.

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A $25,000 check from the V4V Trust fund was presented on March 14,2013 at the NW Minnesota County Veterans Service Officer’s meeting gathered in Detroit Lakes. In addition, it was announced at the meeting that the Disabled American Veterans is donating an additional $25,000 in support of this new veterans transportation program for NW Minnesota.

At the February 2013 Veterans 4 Veterans Trust fund monthly meeting, the grant was approved by the eight member board of directors:

A $25,000.00 grant was approved in collaboration with the MN Disabled American Foundation, the National DAV / VA Transportation Program and local businesses and veterans organizations to assist in purchasing three vans to transport veterans in the 15 counties in Northwest MN to the VA Medical Centers in Fargo North Dakota and the St. Cloud VA Medical Center. The total amount in grants to get the program off and running is $105,000.

Paula Conrad, the Veterans Service Center Manager at he Fargo VA Regional Office stated “There is a great need for services, particularly transportation, in rural communities such as most of Northwestern Minnesota where public transportation is scarce or non-existent,” Laurie Brooke, the Becker County Veterans Service Officer stated, “By virtue of geography and economy, northwest Minnesota has been lacking in transportation resources.” Ms. Brooke went on to say, “Access to basic medical care due to lack of transportation is a common complaint in rural Minnesota .

Using current statistics from CVSO’s, over 3,000 veterans have been identified the need for transportation in the year 2012.” The transportation program will be run by the County Veterans service Officer of the counties participating in this program. Commissioner Larry Shellito of the MN Dept of Veterans Affairs recently state, “I commend the NW MN County Veterans Service Officers ( CVSO’s ) for their efforts and teamwork in addressing the transportation needs of the NW MN veterans community. Clearly, this effort will bring a better quality of life to the veterans served by this program”.

The Minnesota Veterans 4 Veterans ( V4V ) Trust Fund is a 501c(19) non-profit organization established as the result of the 2006 sale of Lake Minnetonka Big Island Disabled Veterans Camp. The non-profit organization has eight board members , two veterans each who are appointed by the DAV, VFW, MOPH, and American Legion. The board oversees the funds from the sale of the island to the City of Orono and has a grant application process on their website. Grants are made to organizations serving MN veterans in a way that conforms to the criteria the V4V has documented online.