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Lilly Grant to VA Will Enhance Services for Returning Combat Veterans

INDIANAPOLIS, Oct. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will augment its world-class health care to local veterans with a $9.9 million grant received today from the Lilly Endowment Inc.

The Indianapolis-based philanthropic foundation is providing the funds to the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center to support a new clinic for injured service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and other projects, including a "comfort home" serving families of hospitalized service members while their loved ones undergo rehabilitation.

"The generosity of the Lilly Endowment will help VA to continue to provide our wounded warriors with the best in rehabilitation medical care," said VA Under Secretary for Health Dr. Michael J. Kussman, who accepted the grant on behalf of VA.

The grant will provide $5.8 million for a 24,000-square-foot Seamless Transition Integrated Care Clinic where returning troops will receive comprehensive multidisciplinary health care. Another $3.5 million will be used to build a 28-suite comfort home that will provide accommodations for veterans' families during extended periods of care.

In addition, the endowment is funding retreats at which veterans and their spouses or loved ones can reunite and learn to work through readjustment issues typically associated with returning from deployment.

Another $500,000 is designated for rehabilitation events, including the National Veterans Golden Age Games, which the Roudebush VA Medical Center will host in the summer of 2008. This senior adaptive rehabilitation program is designed to improve the quality of life for older veterans, including those with a wide range of abilities and disabilities.

VA provides a comprehensive array of benefits and services tailored to meet the unique needs of America's latest generation of combat veterans, including special access to VA health care for two years for those having no service-connected illnesses or injuries; polytrauma centers caring for the most severely injured that are setting new standards for multi-disciplinary treatment of complex medical problems; world-class clinical care and research for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); and aggressive outreach program to help veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan access the benefits they have earned.

The Lilly Endowment was established in 1937 by members of the Lilly family as a vehicle to pursue their personal philanthropic interests. It is separate from the Eli Lilly and Co. pharmaceutical firm and is independently managed.

SOURCE Department of Veterans Affairs
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