The Gulf Coast Blind Rehabilitation Center located at the Biloxi VAMC achieved the highest possible assessment from the commission that surveys and accredits rehabilitation facilities nationally and internationally.

In a rare finding of “zero recommendations” the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, praised the numerous strengths of the Blind Rehabilitation program and specifically praised the following areas:

  • Staff dedication and commitment to providing safe, quality services to Veterans.
  • The dignity and respect shown to Veterans during all interactions.
  • The esteem in which the Blind Rehabilitation Center is held throughout the health care system.
  • The high praise that the Blind Rehabilitation Program earns from the Veterans’ family members.
  • The feedback from written surveys from both Veterans and their family members rated the Blind Rehabilitation Center and its programs at exceptionally high standards (97-99 percent).
  • The strong sense of identity of pride in excellence in Veteran care within the medical system.

According to Debra L.M. Gilley, the chief of blind rehabilitation it is “not just a job” for the managers and staff, but “what we are most passionate about. It is a “living, breathing thing for us to daily see hope become a reality for our Veterans and their families.”

The commission is an independent, nonprofit organization focused on advancing the quality of services for the facilities it surveys and accredits.  It provides accreditation services worldwide at the request of health and human service providers.  In order to meet accreditation standards, the Blind Rehabilitation Center had to demonstrate a commitment to being among the best programs available in the world.

The center and its staff performed so highly, the surveyors had absolutely no deficient findings and no recommendations for improvement.  An amazing testament to the standard of service and care provided to Veterans and their families by the Blind Rehabilitation Center.

The commission conducted its assessment from July 23 through July 25.  The surveyors reviewed the Blind Rehabilitation Center facilities, programs, leadership, health and safety, technology, performance measurement and improvement, and numerous other critical aspects of the center from records and medication management to “person centered” services.

The Gulf Coast Blind Rehabilitation Center is located on the beautiful Biloxi campus of the Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System.  The center provides visually impaired Veterans with comprehensive rehabilitation services including private rooms, meals and health services.  The center’s numerous programs are designed to allow Veterans maximum restoration of independence and a healthy attitude toward themselves, their needs and their future.  Focused programs include orientation and mobility, computer access and skill training, visual skill training for those with limited vision, living skills training, manual skills training, recreational therapy and family member training.

About the author: Tony Salmon volunteers as an ambassador and helps out in the Public Affairs Office.  Tony is a retired US Navy Commander who served as a naval aviator for 12 years on active duty and 8 years in the Naval Reserves mostly flying the P-3 Orion on various warfare fighting missions around the world.


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Published on Sep. 19, 2018

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One Comment

  1. Mychal Sims September 22, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    Very inspirational stories, about real life, real People, doing awesome things for themselves and others. Having low vision myself for the last few years has been a challenge for me, until I read the stories of others with far greater problems then I doing so much.

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