Have you seen a VA employee doing something noteworthy, in words or action, and making a positive difference to the Veterans we serve? If so, you can recognize these heroes by nominating them for an I CARE Award.

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented many unique challenges to our VA health care systems and taken a toll on front-line health care workers. Many VA employees have had to take on additional duties, working long hours, and some even self-isolating from family members while leading the fight against COVID-19.

VA employees have been working tirelessly – many risking their health and safety – to treat patients and contain the spread of the coronavirus. But our employees have shown just how resilient they are and dedicated to taking care of Veterans.

Health care worker holding patient's handIn a changing world, VA’s core values of Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect and Excellence (I CARE) provide an enduring description of our culture and the quality of service VA provides to Veterans. These values aren’t new – VA employees live by them every day – but formalized, they offer a clear path to our success in fulfilling our sacred obligation to care for Veterans, their families, caregivers and survivors.

“Core values describe our culture and serve as the foundation for the way we are committed to interacting with Veterans and their supporters, fellow employees, and those outside the organization,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough.

There are many wonderful examples of employees demonstrating these values in their day-to-day work. As our health care heroes work hard to get us through the pandemic, did you know that you can help them get through it too?

One of the best ways to help health care workers during this COVID-19 pandemic is to simply thank them for their work and recognize the difference they are making. As they sacrifice to keep us safe and healthy, our appreciation and encouragement can certainly #makethedifference to them. We want to remind them how much everyone appreciates their commitment to patient care.

An I CARE award gives Veterans, their caregivers or family members a voice to recognize those who meant something special to them while building morale and giving employees something to strive toward.

Veterans can share their stories about VA employees demonstrating I CARE core values in their daily interactions. Nominate an employee or group of employees you feel have gone above or beyond displaying the I CARE core values.

If you would like to nominate a VA employee for an I CARE certificate, contact us and tell us what they did that demonstrated one or more of our I CARE values (attachments are allowed with the submission).

For more information, visit https://www.va.gov/icare/index.asp.

By Audrey Umhoefer is a public affairs specialist with the Veterans Experience Office

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Published on Feb. 8, 2022

Estimated reading time is 2.3 min.

Views to date: 1,367


  1. Sam February 11, 2022 at 7:26 pm

    Dr. Abby Alexander at Cheyenne Medical Center in Cheyenne Wyoming is a Hero of Excellence in my book. Having been in multiple Veterans Centers across the country. I have never received such great care and attention. She took the time, listened, explained, and served with excellence, She’s a hero !

  2. Jerry Charles Giorlando February 11, 2022 at 4:02 pm

    I was trying To get a new medicine from my primary . A outside doctor prescribed it. My patient advocate Crystal worked hard and long for me. She was kind and caring. I called her many times on many days. She never gave up to solve my problem. She might have saved my life.. She is very special. I think her last name begins with a williams She is in North port

  3. Angie Batica February 11, 2022 at 11:15 am

    I nominate:

    Kara M. Harris, MHA, LPN-Whole Health Coach
    Clermont/Tavares CBOC.

    She bends over backwards and works long hours to ensure each and every veteran has their needs met. She’s my Whole Health Coach and has helped me with EVERYTHING.

  4. Ronald Weiss February 11, 2022 at 11:11 am

    I just want to thank all the people that work at va for all they do & all they have done for the vets. I will go or talk to va providers instead of going to any other civilian facility because I trust them more & I feel I get better care. Once again thanks to all va employees you do a great service for veterans.

  5. John February 11, 2022 at 9:24 am

    I too was dismayed that Biden chose a non-veteran to run the VA. Only a veteran can understand the needs of the veteran community. It seems clear that the Biden administration cares little about the needs of veterans as evidence by their treatment of our troops during the departure from Afghanistan.

    • Ronald Stewart February 11, 2022 at 10:19 am

      What? That man is so ridiculous it’s hard to even hear. Thanks for letting me know, I have a soverign God who answers my prayers and He is not mocked!

  6. Glenn Philip Eisen February 11, 2022 at 9:12 am

    The VA has been outstanding world class medical care to me for the past few years. I choose to utilize the VA and the majority of the caregivers I know for 100% of my healthcare needs because I want to not because I have to, there’s many choices available for me to choose from.

    • Robert A Vick February 11, 2022 at 10:43 am

      Dr Mohammad Taha
      Tampa VA Hosp. And PA. Azra Hozo have made a great improvement in my life and health.
      There was a time I became disenchanted with the VA
      They made me a believer in the VA again.
      They are very good caregivers they are caring people.
      They never give me the bums rush
      Spending the time required so I understand.
      All. Your people should be so caring
      They listen to what I have to say
      They don’t treat me like I don’t know what’s going off anybody deserves an award or recognition it’s these folks

  7. Resign Denis February 8, 2022 at 7:33 pm

    The VA Secretary is targeting political enemies who are serving as federal employees and Veterans. The VA Secretary is not a Veteran and was Obama’s COS for 4 years and believes he has more power than Congress and the Supreme Court. A U.S. Federal Judge has halted the POTUS’ illegal mandate, the VA Secretary is going forward anyway with the unconstitutional mandate.

    The VA Secretary must resign.

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