Jessica and April's Story

Columbia, MO

Jessica and April’s Story

This is a walk for homeless veterans. The theme is the 50s. I’m an RN and came into VA health care about 10 years ago, fell in love with it, and will probably never do anything different. But I got so used to taking care of patients on the inpatient side when they were super sick, that I missed the whole concept of outpatient, proactive, patient-driven care.

Things come out [with my veteran patients] like, “I don’t have transportation. My only transportation is a bike.” So, as veterans, many times it can just be about their ability to cope. They may have PTSD symptoms that they’re trying to manage while also living a life that’s not only physically healthy, but spiritually and mentally healthy. And, even zooming out from the VA, when you think about our country in general, people don’t often have resources or support in making lifestyle changes. They get recommendations from their doctor or nurses, but if they live in an area where they don’t have access to healthy food or, like my family, come from somewhere very rural, they can’t bike to a grocery store that’s so far away and there’s no public transportation.

Missouri’s safety net is only made possible because of the dedicated professionals and volunteers who work tirelessly to make sure our family, friends, and neighbors have the food, shelter, health care, and other economic supports when they need it most. When Missourians have access to the care they need, they have the opportunity to live up to their potential – bringing limitless value to their communities and to our state. When we look out for one another, we all see #TheNetBenefit. Learn more about the safety net in Missouri.