DMVA operations staff are credited with keeping residents of Veterans’ homes active and connected to their families during the pandemic


Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – The Wolf administration today recognized the staff of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) activities in Pennsylvania veterans’ homes for keeping residents active, engaged, and connected to their families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The staff of the operations of the six veterans homes in Pennsylvania demonstrated enthusiasm, creativity and passion at a critical time when residents were socially estranged from each other as well as separated from families due to the pandemic. of COVID-19, ”said Brig. General (PA) Maureen Weigl, DMVA Deputy Adjutant General for Veterans. “It can be isolating when you’re stuck inside, but not with our team. Our residents continued to be entertained, active and connected with those they love.

Long-term care and personal care facility operations staff typically coordinate engaging and stimulating group activities for residents, such as bingo, musical entertainment, and crafts. They also organize field trips such as shopping, sporting and cultural events, movies and picnics. COVID-19 safety protocols put an end to group activities and field trips, but each household’s innovative and energetic activities staff members resorted to safe individual activities such as planting flowers, portable golf and board games; unit-based activities such as listening to music; and gate activities like group social distancing exercises and remote car races.

While visits have been suspended for security reasons, activities staff have worked hard to keep residents in touch with their loved ones. This involved staff working one-to-one with residents and making appointments with families to communicate through electronic and digital means such as video chat, Zoom, Facebook Messenger, Duo and Facetime. Window visits and drive-through parades also helped keep residents’ morale high.

The 80 activities staff in the six veterans homes of the AVD worked tirelessly to keep the nearly 1,000 residents active, smiling and in touch with family and friends.

“I’m proud of my team and fellow activities in all homes for quickly adapting to new security measures, staying flexible with activity scheduling, and finding creative ways to keep residents engaged through activities. therapeutic and regular family ties, ”said Christopher Veitch, CTRS, who oversees the activities of DMVA’s Southwestern Veterans’ Center (SWVC) in Pittsburgh. “The demand on our staff has increased, but their passion and desire to serve the Veterans who have served us all has never wavered. It was a pleasure to be part of such a caring team. ”

The six homes and their locations in addition to SWVC are: Delaware Valley Veterans’ Home in Philadelphia; the Gino J. Merli Veterans’ Center in Scranton, the Hollidaysburg Veterans’ Home in Hollidaysburg, the Pennsylvania Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home in Erie, and the Southeastern Veterans’ Center in Spring City.

Watch a short video on how Veitch and his team creatively worked to keep residents active and safe during the pandemic

For more information on the six veterans homes in Pennsylvania, visit You can also follow DMVA on Facebook at or on Twitter at

CONTACT WITH THE MEDIA: Joseph Butera – [email protected]

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