VA Pacific Islands Health Care System
Director's Message June 28, 2021
This coming Monday is Memorial Day, a sacred day where we remember the men and women who have worn the cloth of our nation, and who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of freedom. We can never forget these heroes nor the families who continue to grieve the loss of their mother, father, son, daughter, sister or brother who stood in the gap for each of us to maintain the very democracy that we are able to treasure every day.
In addition, all 155 VA national cemeteries will be open Memorial Day weekend from dawn to dusk. Cemeteries with full staffs will also hold brief wreath-laying ceremonies followed by a moment of silence and taps over Memorial Day weekend, but these will not be open to the public.
VA will also debut new features on the Veterans Legacy Memorial (VLM) site in time for Memorial Day. Originally launched in 2019, VLM contains a memorial page for each of the nearly four million Veterans and service members interred in a VA national cemetery where visitors can leave written tributes. By Memorial Day weekend, VLM will permit online visitors to submit photos and biographical summaries of a Veteran’s life, along with historical documents such as award citations, letters, and newspaper clippings. Another feature will allow visitors to follow their Veteran's page and receive email alerts when new content is posted.
VA will also continue its partnership with Carry The Load this “Memorial May” to honor the sacrifices made by the military, Veterans, first responders and their families. Throughout the month of May, organization volunteers will march four routes across the country, visiting 42 VA national cemeteries along the way. To learn more about Carry The Load and register to march a relay leg, visit www.carrytheload.org
Our clinics will be closed Saturday, May 29 and Monday, May 31 in observance of Memorial Day. The drive-thru pharmacy at the Spark Matsunaga Ambulatory Care Clinic will be open Saturday, May 29 from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday May 31 the Pharmacy service will be closed.
Masks at VAPIHCS
For the time being, masking requirements will remain in place for both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated patients and visitors, employees, contractors, and volunteers for all VAPIHCS buildings and campuses, even if no patients are seen or treated in the facilities.
If you have not already received a COVID-19 vaccine, please consider getting vaccinated and helping us keep our patients, employees and visitors safe. We’re offering the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine to VA employees, Veterans, their spouses and caregivers, and CHAMPVA recipients every Wednesday in the ACC. Learn more.
All VA facilities and clinics that administer COVID-19 vaccines are now offering walk-ins for eligible Veterans, spouses and caregivers. This walk-in service ensures that all Veterans enrolled in VA health care and those authorized under the SAVE LIVES Act have an opportunity to receive a COVID-19 vaccination from VA at a time convenient to them. This effort is in support of the president’s goal of administering at least one vaccine shot to 70% of the U.S. adult population by July 4 (58% currently as of May 10).
One Team, One Ohana!
Adam M. Robinson, Jr., MD, MBA, CPE
Director, VA Pacific Islands Health Care System
VADM, MC, USN, (RET)
36th Surgeon General, USN