Truman VA hospital hosts open session for veterans and their families

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COLUMBIA - Truman VA Hospital is hosting an event called "Coffee with the Executive Leadership Team" Wednesday morning to discuss veteran benefits and new initiatives. Veterans are invited to voice their concerns and ask questions about current, as well as new services.

VA Public Affairs Officer, Stephen Gaither said he thinks events like these help establish positive relationships between patients and the hospital.

"Nearly 90 percent of the veterans who get care from us would recommend our facility to other veterans. We want to keep that going and we want to make sure we provide a means and a mechanism for that feedback, and thats what these kinds of events can do for us." said Gaither.

Employees from the St. Louis Veterans Benefits Administration Legal Office will be in attendance to talk from a financial standpoint about things like veteran's compensation, pension and education.

Though the event is aimed at veterans, it is open to the public and family members of veterans are encouraged to attend as well.

"It's just another mechanism to get feedback from the veterans that we serve. We've been doing quarterly town hall meetings for veterans and their families for a number of years. This is just another way to get that kind of feedback. 

The hospital said its goal with this event is to provide valuable resource information about VA benefits, including enrollment in the VA health system.

"The advantage is that interested veterans can come and ask questions about anything related to healthcare benefits. But we also have employees coming from St. Louis and the Veterans Benefits Administration Regional Office," Gaither said. "They're here to talk about financial benefits and to work with veterans who may have questions about claims they've already filed, say for instance a service connected injury or illness."

The event is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. in the hospital's Patient Education Center.