Zeeland Community Hospital

Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital Veterans Program is Connecting Veterans to Valuable Health Care Resources

ZEELAND, Mich., May 12, 2016 — The Spectrum Health System is making every effort to recognize, thank and support our veterans. The Veterans Support Services program that began in November at Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital is bridging the gap between veteran patients and access to their federal, state and local benefits and resources.

Veteran Support Services goes beyond medical costs, also helping with anything from counseling to employment. Some of the common benefits include housing assistance, mental health services, the Michigan Veterans Trust Fund and Veterans Affairs benefits.

Danielle Montag is the veteran behind the program. She got the idea as an intern at Spectrum when she realized that a gap existed between VA health care and hospitals.

“In a pilot study, we found that 33 percent of our inpatient veterans had unmet needs that could be addressed through existing programs,” said Montag, Veteran Support Services coordinator for Spectrum Health. “As this program grows, we will be able to salute and help more veterans and their families. We don’t want anyone to go without.”

Zeeland Community Hospital is recognizing veteran status during registration or admittance to the hospital. These patients will be identified by a flag posted on the marker board in their hospital room. The flag is meant to symbolize their military service so that they may be recognized by staff and visitors. They may also get a special visit from a veteran volunteer and may be eligible for services from the Veteran Support Services team.

So far, Spectrum Health has helped more than 2,000 veterans throughout the system. That number will continue to grow as awareness about the program increases.

“Our veterans are very important,” said Julianne Carey, director, medical/surgical, maternity and pediatric services. “We’re pleased to recognize them as a way to show our appreciation for them.”

If you want to take part in this Spectrum Health program, let staff know you are a veteran when you check in. Anyone interested in volunteering with the program may email Montag directly at Danielle.Montag@spectrumhealth.org.

For additional information, contactveteransupportservices@spectrumhealth.org or call 616.267.1744.

Ashley Kiekintveld
Marketing and Communications
Phone: 616.748.3610
Email: ashley.kiekintveld@spectrumhealth.org