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West Palm Beach VA Medical Center
Lois Pope Honored by VA Medical Center for Her Sponsorship of National Day of Honor Event
January 22, 2019
Mrs. Lois Pope (center), flanked by VA leadership and support staff, was presented with a certificate of recogition for her work to Honor American Veterans Disabled for Life. Pictured (l to r) with Mrs. Pope are Julia Spence, Executive Assistant to the Director; Robert Crawford, Deputy Chief of VA Police Service; Mary Phillips, Chief of Voluntary Service; Dr. Ronald Williams, Chief of Staff; Paul Aloise, Compliance Officer; Lyumma Archeval, Associate Director for Patient Care Service; Donna Katen-Bahensky, Medical Center Director; Thomas Corey, Program Specialist; Maria Nguyen, Assistant Director; Karen Fleimng, LIFE Foundation; and Kenita Gordon, Public Affairs Officer. Photo: Courtesy of LIFE Foundation
West Palm Beach, FL - On Jan. 16, 2019 the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center presented esteemed philanthropist and champion of disabled Veterans rights, Lois Pope, with an award of appreciation for her sponsorship of the National Day of Honor for America Veterans Disabled for Life event on October 5, 2018. The event was the very first of its kind held at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center to honor disabled Veterans.
VA medical center leadership, event coordinators from both VA and the LIFE office, along with Vietnam War Veteran and Purple Heart recipient Thomas Corey (U.S. Army) attended the recognition event honoring Mrs. Pope’s work. As she gratefully received her recognition, Mrs. Pope encouraged those in attendance to always find ways to give back to causes they believed in and noted that she was honored to continue doing charitable work on behalf of our nation’s disabled heroes. “We must never stop showing our gratitude, our respect and our appreciation for veterans who have sacrificed so much in our defense and who continue to bear the scars of war,” Mrs. Pope said. “Our National Day of Honor concert at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center featuring Tony Orlando – as well as the Palm Beach Symphony and the USO Show Troupe – was the most wonderful way to say to veterans and disabled veterans, ‘thank you for your service, but we must find ways to thank you each and every day.”
“Mrs. Pope, our Veterans cannot stop talking about the wonderful event you sponsored on October 5,” said Donna Katen-Bahensky, director of the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center. “To this day, each time I walk the halls of this medical center or am out in the community, I am constantly reminded by Veterans of the event and the amazing time they had. We cannot thank you enough for your kindness and generosity and October 5 will forever remain a special day of recognition here at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center.”
The October 5th event had special meaning for disabled veterans in America, as it was the anniversary of the day in 2014 that the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial in Washington DC was dedicated. The Memorial was the brainchild of Mrs. Pope who conceived and spearheaded the building of the nation’s first and only permanent public tribute to the four million-plus living American disabled veterans and those who have died. As multitalented performer Tony Orlando graced the stage on the medical center’s campus to preform for Veterans and their families, attendees danced and sang along to the tunes of times gone by.
About Lois Pope, The Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Inc., & LIFE (Leaders in Furthering Education)
As one of America’s leading philanthropists, Lois Pope has positively impacted the lives of individuals at the local, national and international levels. She has established three different organizations dedicated to helping those in need – those who are disadvantaged, marginalized, or forgotten because of disabilities, socio-economic status, neglect, age, abuse, and other barriers. They are the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Leaders in Furthering Education (LIFE), and the Disabled Veterans LIFE Memorial Foundation. Over the past quarter-century, she has been the driving force behind the Lois Pope LIFE Center at the University of Miami School of Medicine; a summer camp program serving thousands of disadvantaged children in Florida; a scholarship program for low-income students of enormous potential who desired to attend medical school and then go back to serve in their home communities; a program offering researchers with the means to pursue cutting-edge work in finding cures for terrible diseases; a clean water system in a Guatemalan village; an effort to aid refugee women in Sudan; an initiative that has resulted in nearly a dozen ambulances in Israel; and numerous partnerships with American Humane to expand rescue operations for dogs (cats and other animals) victimized by natural disasters and horrific abuse, as well as those who have fought alongside human soldiers on the front lines of Iraq and Afghanistan. Most recently, she made a $12 million gift to establish the Lois Pope Center for Retinal and Macular Degeneration Research at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute’s Palm Beach Gardens campus, the largest donation ever to the institute. She has also produced two documentaries with award-winning director Ric Burns highlighting the plights of disabled veterans in the U.S. “Debt of Honor” and “VA: The Human Cost of War.” To learn more visit www.life-edu.org.
About the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center – (Earning our Veterans' trust by consistently delivering compassionate and quality care)
The West Palm Beach VA Medical Center (WPBVAMC) is a 1C-level complexity general medical and surgical facility with over 250 beds and more than 2,600 staff members providing a full range of patient care services, as well as comprehensive medical education and residency programs. All-inclusive health care is provided through primary care, emergency care and long-term care in the areas of medicine, surgery, mental health, physical medicine and rehabilitation, radiology, telemedicine, dentistry, hemodialysis, comprehensive Cancer Center and geriatrics and extended care including hospice and palliative care. The medical center provides health services to Veterans throughout South Florida and the Treasure Coast at its main facility in West Palm Beach and six contractor-operated community-based outpatient clinics in Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Fort Pierce, Okeechobee, Stuart and Vero Beach. The facility also operates a 13-bed Blind Rehabilitation Service, which is the referral center for blind and visually impaired Veterans throughout the state of Florida.