Over the years, Illinois AMVETS has played a crucial role in bringing several important projects to fruition in Illinois. They include:
Marion VA Medical Center
The Illinois AMVETS Service Foundation granted $4 million for a new 15,000 square foot state of the art facility at the Marion VA Medical Center in Marion, Illinois. This new facility houses centers for mental health, prosthetics, vocational and occupational rehabilitation, as well as an aqua therapy pool, resource center and job training and placement for all veterans.
St. Leo Campus for Veterans
The Illinois AMVETS Service Foundation is proud to have significantly sponsored the Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Chicago's St. Leo Campus for Veterans. In 2006, the Illinois AMVETS Service Foundation pledged $2.5 million to the creation and aid of this worthy project.
The St. Leo Campus houses 141 veterans who were once homeless. This residence is a safe place to live both independently and affordably. In addition, the campus will provide a support system to help those veterans get back on their feet. In addition to housing, there will also be a medical clinic available, including drug and alcohol counseling, a food pantry, and a memorial garden to honor all veterans. The Illinois AMVETS is particularly excited about the career center, with includes a computer lab to build valuable work skills and help veterans look for jobs. In addition, the campus houses an Illinois AMVETS Service Officer to assist the veterans with service-related claims.
Hines Rehabilitation Center
The Hines Reactivation Center was 15 years in the making. In the early 1980s, Dr. Margaret Baumann, coordinator of geriatrics and extended care at the Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital, and Dr. Alvar Svanborg, Professor Emeritus of geriatric medicine at the University of Gothenberg in Sweden and the University of Illinois in Chicago, formulated a plan for a facility that would allow aging patients to practice "regular" tasks on a daily basis.
This place would allow a normal life for those suffering from debilitating illness and injury. Reactivation, or getting the patients reacquainted with everyday activities, can delay the effects of aging. The clinic includes a replica of a town, complete with "Easy Street," or the main street, a house with complete rooms, a park, a vehicle and a grocery store. This way, patients could go through the motions of shopping, doing household chores and even getting in and out of a car. The Illinois AMVETS Service Foundation stepped in to help fund this valuable project with a $3.5 million donation. "This center has been a dream of the Illinois AMVETS State Service Foundation since 1986," said AMVETS Past National Commander Lincoln Tamraz. D. Arthur Connelly (deceased), along with other AMVETS, was the key in the creation of this project. Once a location was found at Hines VA Hospital, the plans were set into motion. On July 20, 2001, the Illinois AMVETS Reactivation Clinic opened.
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