Minority Veterans’ needs and issues about VA benefits and services will be the focus of the inaugural 2019 National Minority Veterans Summit Sept. 27-28 at the Sheraton Hotel in Dallas, Texas.

Attendees will hear from VA senior leaders as well as participate in breakout sessions focused on compensation and pension, employment, physical and mental health, entrepreneurship and more.

The Center for Minority Veterans, or CMV, hosts the summit. It will engage, inform and educate minority Veterans and their families about the latest VA programs and services that will provide a positive impact their lives, said Stephen B. Dillard, executive director for CMV.

Target audiences for the summit include all Veterans, their families, survivors, caregivers, public sector partners including military, federal, state and local agencies, Veteran Service Organizations, other nonprofit partners, researchers, representatives from the tech industry, community partners and VA employees.

“CMV realizes that we cannot save the world with this summit however, our goal is to capitalize on the subject matter expert’s presentations, breakout session and research, and assist with disseminating these issues and following up with our Veterans,” Dillard said.

Summit will be ‘springboard’

Dillard said the summit will be a “springboard” that will help Veterans in the following areas:

  • An onsite claims clinic
  • Understanding their benefits
  • Continuing education opportunities
  • Understanding the new compensation, pension, and new appeals modernization processes
  • Suicide prevention
  • The new community care and caregivers policy and regulation
  • Understanding the MISSION Act

“VA is focusing on effective customer service, implementation of the MISSION Act, completing the transfer of Veteran medical records to electronic health records and implementing the VA Appeals Modernization Process,” Dillard said. “As a result, in order to engage, inform and educate our minority Veterans, their families, caregivers and survivors, it is imperative we create a platform to share this important and most current information regarding VA programs and services.”

Dillard said hearing issues from minority Veterans will also be an important part of the summit. He said some minority Veterans see low enrollment in health care, targeted medical research and making sure they have comprehensive health care—something better available through the MISSION Act.

“This is our inaugural summit,” he said. “It will help us identify the critical needs of our minority Veterans.”

The VA has more than 275 Minority Veterans Program Coordinators throughout the nation. Those coordinators are training Sept. 26 and will be on hand Sept. 27-28 to assist Veterans.

Dillard said VA leaders want two important takeaways: Veteran expectations of VA and what issues they have that VA may assist with. He said VA will take this information back to provide the best solutions for Veterans while providing effective and efficient VA programs and services.

To sign up for the summit or to learn more, see https://whova.com/web/nmvs_201909/.

By Air Force Veteran Adam Stump is a member of VA's Digital Media Engagement team.

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Published on Aug. 12, 2019

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  1. James Robert Hartley, Jr. August 25, 2019 at 1:50 am

    The “SUMMIT” is a @#$%& waste of our tax money for a bunch of overpaid ivory tower bureaucrats.
    In Vietnam we were all brothers eating, sleeping, fighting, and breathing the same Agent Orange filled air. Now we are being divided to foster the ambitions of race baiting politicians and publicity seeking draft dodging social change pimps.
    Having any meeting affecting us, the real Veterans, where few if any can attend to speak for ourselves is just as demeaning as anything we’ve already been through. We’re fed up with the bloviating male bovine feces.

  2. Ellis Green August 24, 2019 at 1:22 am

    That you Ms Totsoni for sharing, in a kind way, about the struggles of our Navajo sisters and brothers. This clearly points to the need for more targeted outreach by the Veterans Administration. Indeed, it is not discriminatory for the VA or any organization to try to make up for their pass transgressions and omissions. The VA recognizes that in the past not all segments of the veteran communities received equitable treatment both during their service careers and through VA claims administration. Thanks for speaking up for some of our ‘forgotten’ Veterans. We must keep on pushing despite any hateful rhetoric that don’t understand true equality.

    P.S. I do hope that they can provide some help so that you may attend.

    Thanks for your service and WELCOME HOME!

  3. Marian August 23, 2019 at 9:10 pm

    What is a “Minority Veteran’s Summit”?

    The summit should be for ALL veterans.
    They have ALL paid a dear price with some
    their lives and others with their health.

    They are ALL entitled to the same benefits.

    I find this appalling to be segregationist in the
    help for VETERANS.
    Thank you VETERANS.

  4. Mike August 23, 2019 at 7:20 pm

    Discrimination: “treating a person or particular group of people differently”

  5. Payne August 23, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    What about this. On most applications, the demographic section reads, “Hispanic or Latino.” The remaining population is placed in another section to be checked. Why are Hispanics placed in a separate section and not with the rest? I have nothing against Hispanics but was curious about the reason for this application set up.

  6. Howard C. Zielke August 23, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    I guess just about everyone is a “minority” in one sense or another….as a Navy Vet (‘61-‘66) I’m a little tired of how we are now being divided by ethnicity, gender, etc. due to the PC beaurocrats. We are ALL veterans who have served our great country whose Constitution guarantees equal rights to each of us….so what’s with all the separate groups….

  7. William Smith August 23, 2019 at 3:55 pm

    All veterans are welcome. We all served. Our blood bleeds red! No discrimination intended by the VA.

  8. Mildred Irby August 23, 2019 at 3:50 pm

    Thanks for the information. I would love to attend depending on the total cost of airfare and hote. Will there be any discounts for vets.

  9. Charles August 23, 2019 at 12:32 pm

    Can’t get any more spot on than that. It is this sort of BS in government that divides us. They do the same for LGBTQ. They have flown the flag for LGBTQ at many veteran offices. No one should have special rights.

    The VA is authorized to provide:

    Hormone treatment
    Substance use/alcohol treatment
    Tobacco cessation treatment
    Treatment and information on prevention of sexually transmitted infections/PrEP
    Intimate partner violence reduction and treatment of after effects
    Heart health
    Appropriate cancer screening, prevention and treatment

    PC world we live in. Constitution says nothing about special rights. More tax dollars wasted.

    • James Robert Hartley, Jr. August 25, 2019 at 1:58 am

      I completely agree and have put in my own two cents.

  10. Patricia Smith August 23, 2019 at 11:38 am

    Thanks, Jody Williams, for voicing the opinion many of us feel. Racial preference in any direction is still racism!

  11. Sheri Margaret Reyes August 16, 2019 at 5:16 pm

    I am the wife of a 100% service-connected disabled veteran. I have had a very difficult time getting a job. I hope they will include someone for that topic at this seminar. I have attended my share of veteran job summits and have never obtained a job from one. Our son has finished his A.A. but will be going on to start his Bachelors in the fall. I am unemployed so it is difficult for me to help him. My husband served eight years with the Navy and any help would be greatly appreciated!

  12. Jody Williams August 16, 2019 at 11:34 am

    More catering services and events to minorities means more ignoring veteran wide problems. This is how the VA has consistently deflected and ignored the issues, by diverting attention away from problems that affect everyone to problems that only affect certain people.

    This is discrimination. This is negligence. This is wrong.

    • James Robert Hartley, Jr. August 25, 2019 at 1:54 am

      Amen, Jody.

  13. Frances Totsoni August 14, 2019 at 12:42 pm

    Thank you for the information. I am a Navajo woman veteran living on the Navajo Indian lands near Chinle, Arizona. I belong to our small local Navajo veterans organization and we do not have access to veteran information most of the time because of limited internet access and because we have no VA offices on our huge reservation. The closest VA offices are at least a 2 to 3 hour drive from our community.

    I want to attend the National Minority Veteran Summit in September but have no funds for hotel and airfare. I am retired and live on limited funds. I want to know if your organization or other organizations provide financial assistance to veterans to attend the Summit. I want to get information to help my fellow Navajo veterans in my community so they can use it to take advantage of their veteran benefits.

    Thank for reading my email and maybe providing some financial assistance.

Comments are closed.

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