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VA Hospital in need of fully licensed retired volunteer physicians

Published: Mar. 25, 2021 at 9:49 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The VA Hospital in Reno has COVID-19 vaccines ready to go, but it needs more doctors. Now the push is on to recruit as many medically trained professionals as quickly as possible.

“Where there’s a need, we find a volunteer to fill that need.”

Mindy Gates, Community Affairs Service Specialist wth the VASNHCS

Partly due to the pandemic, the VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System (VASNHCS) is reviving its volunteer Physician Ambassador Program. The national program recruits and places fully licensed volunteer physicians and clinicians in a health care team at a VA medical facility to serve Veteran patients in various clinical areas.

“It helps reduce staff burnout,” Mindy Gates, Community Affairs Service Specialist with the VASNHCS said, “Some of the nurses have been vaccinating since we got it.”

You must be fully licensed and credentialed in Nevada to quality for the volunteer program. The retired physicians will be giving COVID vaccines 1-2 days per week for 2-4 hours.

Gates added, “We’ve given out over 16,000 doses here at this facility and some of that wouldn’t have been possible without that extra assistance.”

She says the push for this program to make a comeback was all thanks to retired medical professionals who reached out to the VA wanting to help ease the stress for frontline workers.

“It shows great support to our Veteran community that people who are non-Veterans care that much to give back their time here at the VA,” Gates said.

Down the road, it plans to expand the types of services these volunteers can provide within the clinic.

“I’m just amazed every day by the selflessness of all of our volunteers that come into this facility.”

Mindy Gates, Community Affairs Service Specialist wth the VASNHCS

If you would like more information or to enroll in the program as a volunteer at VASNHCS, please email Mindy Gates at mindy.gates654@va.gov and put “Physician Ambassador Program” in the subject line.

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