Sanford Health creates military veterans’ department

Sanford Health’s department of veterans and military services streamlines and adds resources for veterans, military personnel and their families. Heading the department is Paul Weckman, a 26-year Navy veteran.

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“Sanford’s dedication to raise the bar and to innovate without hesitation reflects courage and a commitment to service,” said Weckman. “The support for this program has been outstanding. Sanford is devoted to providing the best possible experience for our veterans, military members and their families.”

The Sanford Health Department of Veterans and Military Services helps veterans and military personnel. The goal is to assist in obtaining health care services, navigating care and insurance coverage, identifying wellness services and searching for employment opportunities. It also offers family support services and veteran community outreach.

“Sanford has long understood the value in employing veterans and military personnel,” said Nathan Peterson, vice president for strategic planning and governance for Sanford Health. “Formalizing this department signifies our commitment to doing our part to help those who have given so much to help us.”

Supporting staff and patients

Sanford Health also is participating in the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, or ESGR, program. Kelby Krabbenhoft, Sanford Health president and CEO, signed a statement pledging to support the military services of employees and advocate for employee participation in the military.

Veterans Clubs opened in Sanford Health medical centers in Fargo and Sioux Falls in 2018. In addition to providing a space to relax or talk with fellow veterans, the club serves beverages and provides guest computer access. A lounge area houses a game table and TV. The clubs build on other Sanford Health efforts, including optional veteran designation on employee badges.

“Veterans have a unique bond,” said Steve Mund, senior director of surgical services in Fargo. “This is one of those acknowledgements. Sanford’s not taking a position about the military. Sanford’s taking a position about thanking the people who serve us all. That’s what I see in the veterans program that we’ve initiated.”

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