Minneapolis VA Health Care System
OEF/OIF Program reaches out to Wisconsin College Students
January 31, 2011
The Minneapolis VA Health Care System's OEF/OIF Program has partnered with the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire to support student veterans.
UW-Eau Claire, like UW Stout and UW Riverfalls has a high student veteran population (approximately 850 combined). In an effort to expand our outreach, OEF/OIF provides routine office hours within UW Eau Claire Schofield Hall's Veteran Center. The VA shares this space with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, UW-Eau Claire veteran's coordinators, the Dean's Office, UW-Eau Claire student counseling, and student work staff.
This co-location has led to increased enrollment and utilization of primary care as well as linking student veterans to VA mental health services to include telemedicine, which provides psychiatry services to student veterans on campus. Through this partnership, the OEF/OIF program better understands the student veteran population and it allows for the development of support services relevant to meeting the needs of the veterans we serve.
In addition, preplanning within the universities on the part of the OEF/OIF program will ensure that our program is ready for the return of the approximately 3,800 Wisconsin National Guard troops. It is well known that veterans enter the university systems because of the tremendous academic incentives. It is thus that through a partnership with the Universities, that OEF/OIF is poised to serve student veterans.
This preparedness on each campus will augment OEF/OIF's mission assist with assessing veteran needs, link to services, and if needed work within the VA and the community to fill gaps.