(Header image: A Montana VA nurse administers the Moderna vaccine to a veteran at the Montana VA Health Care System vaccination clinic for Montana veterans at the Helena Aviation Readiness Center, March 20, 2021. [U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Emily Simonson])
Though the COVID-19 vaccination rate continues to rise across the country with 48% of the population fully vaccinated, some communities are still hesitant to sign up for their shot. For veterans and military families, challenges with vaccine access, especially for rural veterans, and mistrust or misinformation can contribute to stalled vaccination rates. To raise awareness about vaccine safety and availability and share solutions for communities serving veterans and their families, the Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) today announced a partnership with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) to support vaccination education efforts for the military-veteran community.
The partnership with IAVA will include a Facebook Live event on July 20, featuring a discussion with Jeremy Butler, CEO of IAVA; Bob Woodruff, co-founder of the Bob Woodruff Foundation; and Dr. Kavita Patel, physician and former Obama administration official, that dives deeper into the current impact of the pandemic, the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine, and information on the available and accessible options for veterans and their families to get vaccinated. The event will also feature discussion around current vaccination initiatives that can inspire community leaders who are looking for ideas to help keep their community safe and healthy.
“Vaccine access is about so much more than whether or not there are doses available in your community. Misinformation, mistrust, and transportation can be barriers. We’re proud to partner with IAVA to help break through some of those barriers with awareness and education,” said Anne Marie Dougherty, CEO of the Bob Woodruff Foundation. “During the event, we look forward to offering some inspiration for communities looking for smart and collaborative strategies. Our local partners have executed great ideas like Combined Arms’ “SNAX & VAX” event where Houston veterans and military families received a belly full of local BBQ, a COVID vaccine, and groceries to stock their pantry. With a challenge this big, we have to work together, and get creative. And veterans are in a great position to lead the way.”
“The Bob Woodruff Foundation is a leader for the veteran community and a longtime partner of IAVA,” said Jeremy Butler, CEO of IAVA. “We are honored to join forces with this incredible organization to raise awareness about the impacts of the pandemic and provide valuable information to veterans and their families about vaccines. We are grateful for the expertise and experience that both the Foundation and Dr. Patel brings to this important topic and we look forward to sharing this information with our community.”
“IAVA and the Bob Woodruff Foundation have both been incredible leaders in the pandemic response,” said Dr. Kavita Patel, physician and former Obama administration official. “It takes organizations like these to instill trust and ensure that accurate information and resources are provided to veterans and their families. I am excited to join this conversation to raise awareness, provide factual information and support equitable access to vaccinations.”
Details about the event are below. The event is open to press.
When: July 20, 2021 at 4:00 PM ET
Where: Tune in to the Facebook Live event here.
Who: Jeremy Butler, CEO of IAVA; Bob Woodruff, co-founder of the Bob Woodruff Foundation; and Dr. Kavita Patel, physician and former Obama administration official.
About the Bob Woodruff Foundation
The Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) was founded in 2006 after reporter Bob Woodruff was wounded by a roadside bomb while covering the war in Iraq. Since then, BWF has led an enduring call to action for people to stand up for heroes and meet the emerging and long-term needs of today’s veterans, including suicide prevention, mental health, caregiver support, and food insecurity. To date, BWF has invested over $80 million to Find, Fund and Shape™ programs that have empowered impacted veterans, service members, and their family members, across the nation, reinforcing the message that BWF has ‘Got Your Six’. Stories of success and innovation from BWF’s network of partners can be found at gotyoursix.bobwoodrufffoundation.org. For more information, please visit bobwoodrufffoundation.org or follow us on Twitter at @Stand4Heroes.
IAVA is the voice for the post-9/11 veteran generation. With over 400,000 veterans and allies nationwide, IAVA is the leader in non-partisan veteran advocacy and public awareness. We drive historic impacts for veterans and IAVA’s programs are second to none. Any veteran or family member in need can reach out to IAVA’s Quick Reaction Force at quickreactionforce.org or 855-91RAPID (855-917-2743) to be connected promptly with a veteran care manager who will assist. IAVA’s The Vote Hub is a free tool to register to vote and find polling information. IAVA’s membership is always growing. Join the movement at iava.org/membership.