Veterans Administration Voluntary Service (VAVS) Representatives from Veterans Service and Community Organizations (VSOs) attended the quarterly virtual meeting to learn of the needs of patients being served by the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System (CAVHS). VSOs include traditional organizations such as American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Disabled American Veterans (DAV) as well as other organizations not immediately recognized as supporters of Veterans such as Colonial Dames 17th Century and the United States Daughters of 1812 just to name a few.
VAVS Chief, Michael Dobbs, informed the organizations of a pressing need for drivers to transport patients for medical care.
CAVHS, a flagship Department of Veterans Affairs health care provider, is one of the largest and busiest VA medical centers in the country. Its two hospitals, located in Little Rock and North Little Rock, anchor a broad spectrum of inpatient and outpatient health care services. Although CAVHS has Community-Based Outpatient Clinics in Conway, El Dorado, Mena, Mountain Home, Pine Bluff, Russellville and Searcy as well as its Home-Based Primary Care Center in Hot Springs, there is still a need for Veterans to travel to Little Rock or North Little Rock for treatment.
Many of these Veterans have no transportation and depend upon the Volunteer Transportation Network (VTN). The VTN, with Vans provided by DAV, are driven by volunteers and although Vans are available, many times they are left parked due to the lack of volunteer drivers.
Volunteers are needed from all over Arkansas, however a pressing need is for drivers from the Pine Bluff area. It was stressed that even if a driver only volunteers one day a month, it is needed.
Drivers must have a valid Arkansas Driver’s license, safe driving record, and must complete required training and required volunteer physicals/health screenings.