DVIDS – News – BJACH, Fort Polk and the American Red Cross renew their partnerships

FORT POLK, Louisiana – The American Red Cross, the United States Army Garrison and the Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital signed memoranda of understanding at 8:30 a.m. before the installation of the Veterans Day ceremony Nov. 10 at the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk, Louisiana.

Colonel Sam Smith, the garrison commander, said Fort Polk and the American Red Cross have enjoyed a mutually supportive relationship for a decade.

“The Red Cross is a great organization,” he said. This agreement will allow us to take advantage of his expertise and training. The Red Cross is an important asset for the installation. It’s a great partnership and we’re happy to be a part of it.

Smith said the memorandum of understanding specifies that the Red Cross will provide emergency services, build family resilience through training opportunities, hire volunteers, organize awareness sessions, provide information and guidance services and will develop programs as needed.

“The renewal of our agreement with the Red Cross at our Veterans Day ceremony is important,” he said. “I have learned that there are a lot of veterans who serve in their organization. It’s not just about being a veteran, it’s about giving back to our society and our community. Another way to serve your country is to be a Red Cross volunteer.

Colonel Aristotle Vaseliades, commander of BJACH, said he looked forward to the return of Red Cross volunteers to the hospital and the MoU describes what that will look like.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our ability to have volunteers at our facilities,” he said. “The renewal of our partnership with the Red Cross will allow us to revitalize our volunteer and training programs at the hospital.

Vaseliades said that BJACH and the Red Cross are currently collaborating on a pharmacy technician program.

“The Red Cross is currently accepting applications for the Pharmacy Technology Program, a 26-week classroom and clinical training opportunity for family members of military personnel aged 18 and over,” he said. “This certification program will provide military family members with a transportable career that they can take with them from duty station to duty station. Our partnership with the Red Cross is vital not only for the military treatment center, but also for our facility.

Leslie Jones, service in the armed forces, regional director of the Red Cross program, said the memorandum of understanding is crucial because it strengthens the relationship the American Red Cross has with the military.

“Fort Polk is considered one of the 20 largest facilities in the country, which is why we have a full-time employee stationed here,” she said. “We want to make sure the support is formally defined. There is so much the Red Cross does that soldiers, families and veterans don’t even realize.

Jones said the support of the garrison and BJACH commanders enables the Red Cross to provide service to the community.

“With COVID-19, there has been a big change in the number of volunteers allowed into the hospital,” she said. “We are really happy to let it be known that BJACH is ready for volunteers. The Red Cross is the only organization that facilitates volunteering at the hospital and its facilities.

Chuck Lopushansky is currently one of three Red Cross volunteers on the staff of BJACH. As a veteran of the military, Lopushansky began his military career as a telephone line installer who evolved into information technology.

“I started volunteering at BJACH in 2018. I work two days a week in the Help Desk in the Information Management Division. I have a background in computer science and a bachelor’s degree in computer science, so that’s fine for me, ”he said. “It’s really rewarding to know that you are making a difference. I like showing off and helping people. This MOU is important to me so that I can continue to volunteer at the hospital.

Editor’s Note: For more information on how to volunteer with BJACH, contact Lorie Warchol, Regional Program Manager, American Red Cross, Armed Forces and International Services, Louisiana Region at 337-375 -5644 or [email protected]

Date taken: 11.10.2021
Date posted: 11.17.2021 11:21
Story ID: 409501

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