Sentara makes $150,000 contribution to help veterans in need


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Sentara Healthcare is making a big contribution to help veterans.

Sentara donated $150,000 to the Virginia Veterans Service Foundation. The goal is to help veterans in need.

Assisting people in the military and veterans — who make up about one in 10 people in our population — was the topic Thursday at a round table discussion hosted by Sentara Healthcare with veterans from the business community and the government.

“We are here for healthcare, but if we are not dealing with the broader social issues and the value in the community around services like veterans affairs, it is hard to deliver good healthcare if the community is not getting support from a social level,” said Howard P. Kern, CEO and president of Sentara Healthcare.

That support came in the form of a $150,000 donation from Sentara to the Virginia Veterans Services Foundation to support programs for veterans and their families.

“It is a way to give back to a community, in this case, a veteran community that has really put it on the line for our country,” said John Lesinski with the Virginia Veterans Service Foundation.

The grant is designed to support behavioral health initiatives including suicide prevention and assistance for homeless veterans.

“That goes in with preventing veteran homelessness, which we think will start ticking up again once some of the eviction moratorium lift,” said Lesinski.

And for Sentara, it is more than just a cash donation.

“It is food security. It is skilled career. It is housing for our veterans as well as career engagement and the behavioral health needs of the whole community which includes the veteran population,” said Anna James, Sentara senior vice president of government and community relations.

“The veterans and the active duty have done so much in protection of our freedoms over the years we need to repay that level of commitment with a commitment from our organization,” said Kern.

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