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VA taking extra steps to make sure veterans have the care they need during the pandemic

VA taking extra steps to make sure veterans have the care they need during the pandemic
Posted at 10:15 PM, Jan 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-18 22:15:36-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Jessica Gerig will tell you that is was a honor to protect and serve our nation.

“I will never forget [the] 4th of July in full uniform directing traffic,” Gerig said.

Gerig served in the Air Force from 1998-2001 and now she is battling COVID-19.

“Dizzy, fever, stuffy, congestion, cough, sneezing, just feeling miserable,” Gerig said.

Gerig is currently living at Veterans Villa which is permanent supportive housing that is owned by Helping Veterans and Families.

She is one of many veterans turning to the VA for help.

“The people here at Veterans Villa have been amazing taking out our garbage, delivering our mail for us, delivering drinks,” Gerig told WRTV.

The Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center is another option for veterans who need centralized care. Their patient response center is a 24 hour call center that is answered by registered nurses.

Veterans can call in and request appointments or speak to a nurse if they have questions about medications or other medical questions.

More than 35 staff members make up the call center. The call center usually answers about 900 calls a day but due to the recent surge, they are taking about 1,700 calls a day.

“Veterans are calling in with symptoms they want to validate or confirm if its COVID related or not. Then you have patients who are calling if they have a new onset of a symptom or a worsening symptom,” Ambera Oyoo, office manager for the Patient Response Center, said.

“Keep fighting, it's worth the fight, stay protected, don’t pass it on if you got it,” Gerig said.

If you are a veteran and need assistance, you can contact the Patient Response Center at 317-988-1772.