Virginia Department of Veterans Services’ Military Medics and Corpsmen Program Honored With STAR Award
Mark Whiting, VDVS MMAC Program Manager (Left) and
Phil Trezza, VDVS Veteran Data Analyst
The Virginia Department of Veterans Services’ (VDVS) Military Medics and Corpsmen (MMAC) program has been chosen as a winner of the 2021 State Transformation in Action Recognition (STAR) Award.
The STAR Award identifies and promotes state government solutions to regional problems, focusing on policy innovations that are creative, impactful, transferable and effective. The MMAC program was selected by a panel of judges comprised of state legislators, legislative staff, and policy experts at the 75th Anniversary Meeting of the Southern Legislative Conference held in Nashville, July 10-14.
Created as a pilot program in 2016 by the Virginia General Assembly and made a permanent program in 2018, the Military Medics and Corpsmen program offers clinical, leadership, and non-clinical career pathways to veterans and military spouses seeking healthcare careers within the Commonwealth.
The program was created with the recognition that when veterans transition to the civilian workforce, they may struggle to translate their military healthcare experience into civilian healthcare employment. Many are underemployed or are unable to secure jobs in the healthcare field. The MMAC program addresses this challenge by recruiting, reviewing and referring candidates to partner healthcare employers throughout Virginia. By facilitating hiring, MMAC helps reduce healthcare staffing shortages and supports quality patient care.
The 2021 STAR Award was accepted by Mark Whiting, VDVS MMAC Program Manager, and Phil Trezza, VDVS Veteran Data Analyst, who also presented the information about the program to the panel of judges for the award consideration.
“Having the MMAC program selected for this STAR Award is a great honor,” said Virginia Acting Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs Kathleen Jabs. “The MMAC program is unique to Virginia and was initiated to continue the mission of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services to help transitioning service members, veterans and military spouses find employment in Virginia’s civilian workforce. It is especially meaningful to be recognized by the members of the Southern Legislative Conference as MMAC is another example of our innovative approaches to improve the lives of our veterans.”
“VDVS greatly appreciates receiving this 2021 STAR Award,” said John Maxwell, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services. “The MMAC program is a result of the solid support of our Governor, members of our General Assembly, and our partner healthcare providers statewide. In addition, our MMAC team members consistently demonstrate an unwavering spirit and dedication to creating pathways of opportunity for military medics and corpsmen in Virginia. It is a great example of Virginia’s commitment to remaining one of the most veteran friendly states in America.”
About the Virginia Department of Veterans Services
The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (VDVS) is a state government agency with more than 40 locations across the Commonwealth of Virginia. VDVS traces its history to 1928 and the establishment of the Virginia War Service Bureau to assist Virginia’s World War I veterans. Today, VDVS assists veterans and their families in filing claims for federal veterans benefits; provides veterans and family members with linkages to services including behavioral healthcare, housing, employment, education and other programs. The agency operates two long-
term care facilities offering in-patient skilled nursing care, Alzheimer’s/memory care, and short-
term rehabilitation for veterans; provides an honored final resting place for veterans and their families at three state veterans cemeteries. It also operates the Virginia War Memorial, the Commonwealth’s tribute to Virginia’s men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice from World War II to the present. For more information, please visit www.dvs.virginia.gov.
About the Southern Legislative Conference
Established in 1947 as the Southern Office of The Council of State Governments’ legislative association, the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) is a member-driven organization and serves as the premier public policy forum for Southern state legislatures. The 15 states comprising the SLC include Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. For more information, visit https://www.slcatlanta.org/.