In early May, Northern Indiana VA hosted a Women Veterans Health Mixer Resource Fair. The idea behind the mixer came from Northern Indiana Women Veterans.
After a series of women focused town halls and focus groups, the Veterans expressed their desire for a VA-hosted event that provided a relaxing atmosphere that allowed them to network with other Women Veterans.
“Our goal was to create a more welcoming environment. We needed to give our Women Veterans the chance to interact with other Women Veterans and offer them something more than just informational booths,” said Kasandra Johnson, Women’s Veteran program manager.
Chance to learn about women specific health care options
The Women Veterans were treated to a free canvas painting donated by Kanvas Kreations. The Kanvas Kreations owner is also a female Veteran and graciously donated her time, 42 canvases, brushes, and the paint for the event.
The mixer also provided the opportunity for Women Veterans to meet with their VA health care staff and mingle with other Veterans while learning about women specific VA health care options. Community partners also participated and provided additional resources for the Veterans attending the mixer.
Live music was performed by the medical center’s music therapy, and the VA Center for Development & Civic Engagement office helped provide refreshments, gift bags and raffled prizes. Gift bags included hygiene items, Mary Kay products, clothing and other women specific health gifts.
“Many donors were heavily involved with the items donated during the mixer and resource fair. A $5000 donation was given by Elks #155. Other sponsors included the American Legion Auxiliary Post 82, Milford Food Bank, the Veteran of Foreign Wars, and the American Legion,” said Natasha McClanahan, Center for Development & Civic Engagement supervisory specialist.