VA Illiana Healthcare System – Danville, IL
The Gala to celebrate the first VA Green House homes was held at 5pm on October 20th, 2011. For six years this leadership team has been dreaming about offering a better way to care for their most sacred population, the veteran elders. Finally dreams become a reality as their Green House homes are dedicated tomorrow.
During the gala event Mr. Michael Hamilton, the Director for the VA Illiana Healthcare System gave thanks to the Green House Project for the partnership and teachings about an improved quality of life for their veterans. He also gave thanks individually to all members of the team who worked so diligently in this process. He also gave thanks to all the teams who are currently going through core team training and will be working in the homes: Shahbazim, Nurses, Clinical Support team and the Guide.
Mr. Hamilton and his team also thanked all of the donors who contributed to the buildings, organizations and individuals: AM Vets National Society, Daughters of American Revolution, American Legion in Urbana, Department of Illinois Veterans of Foreign War Aux. , and many employees or family members of employees. To see not only the community support, but also that of employees from all levels of the organization, was a very moving experience. All recipients received a pen from the VA, a certificate of appreciation and a hearts and home pin, which depicts a home a heart being hugged by hands.
The evening ended with a toast by Dr. Par who has been a primary leader in the entire process from the beginning and who will oversee the homes under her leadership as Director of the CLC (community living center) for Danville. Dr. Par repeated a statement from one of her employees and the entire room toasted to this: “Veterans do not live in our facility, we work in their homes”. This will never be truer than when the first veterans move into their new home in mid-November.
Finally, Mr. Hamilton let everyone know that Danville marks the beginning of the culture change initiative and The Green House Project in the VA system. North Chicago, Milwaukee and Tomah are all slated to open Green Houses in the coming years and that Danville is paving the way!
Present at the gala from the Green House Project was Terry Simonette, CEO, NCB Capital Impact, Robert Jenkens, Director, Susan Frazier, Chief Operating Officer, Lisa Maxwell, Project Guide, and past Project Guide William (Bill) Keane, who worked with Danville for the past 4 years bring this project to fruition.
Dr. Christa Hojlo, Director for CLCs across the entire United States was also present and is the champion of the culture change initiative within the VAs.