Feb. 14, 2017
Minister Hehr delivers valentines to Veterans and announces a new partnership agreement with Parkwood Institute that will improve Veterans’ access to long term care.
The Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence visited Parkwood Institute today to deliver handcrafted Valentine’s Day cards to Veterans. Veterans Affairs Canada has been delivering valentines to Veterans since 1996 and continues the tradition today. Canadians both young and old create cards that show what the service and sacrifice of Veterans mean to them.
The Minister also announced a new partnership arrangement that expands Veterans’ access to long term care at Parkwood Institute. Veterans eligible for financial support from Veterans Affairs Canada for a community bed will have preferred admission to up to five beds. This arrangement furthers the commitment to Veterans by both Parkwood Institute and the Department.
With the new agreement in place, three Veterans have been admitted to these beds.
“I am extremely pleased to announce this new long term care partnership with Parkwood Institute. The partnership illustrates a continued effort by the Department to provide increased service and benefits to Veterans and their families. We will continue to review the Long Term Care Program to make sure it provides flexibility for Veterans and their families.
“I am very proud that Veterans Affairs Canada has been involved with receiving and distributing valentines to Veterans; it is an honour to deliver them here today and continue the tradition of actively remembering the sacrifices and achievements of Canada’s men and women in uniform.”
Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of the Department of National Defense
“We are proud at Parkwood Institute to provide quality, compassionate care to Canadian War Veterans. We welcome this opportunity to enhance our partnership with Veterans Affairs Canada and provide more Veterans access to long term care.”
Roy Butler, Vice President Patient Care and Risk Management, St. Joseph’s Health Care London
Founded by the Women’s Christian Association (WCA) of London in 1894, Parkwood Institute (formerly Parkwood Hospital) began providing care for Canadian Veterans in 1980. Since that time, the Veterans Care Program at Parkwood Institute has expanded to include 192 long term care Veteran beds and one of Canada’s 11 Operational Stress Injury Clinics, providing specialized mental health services to Veterans, members of the Canadian Armed Forces and the RCMP.
In 2016–2017, Veterans Affairs Canada’s annual contribution was $21.3 million for the long term care of Veterans at the Parkwood Institute in 192 beds.
Valentines for Vets began in 1989, when the late newspaper columnist Ann Landers encouraged her readers to create special valentines for Veterans throughout Canada and the United States.
In 2016, Veterans Affairs Canada distributed approximately 17,000 valentines to 6,700 Veterans in 1,505 long term care facilities.