Published on November 19, 2018

Mercy Fitzgerald Celebrates and Honors Local Veterans

Veterans Event ProgramDarby, Pa. (November 19, 2018): Mercy Fitzgerald has partnered with Delaware County Services for the Aging (COSA) to host an event honoring local veterans on November 17. The event, complete with free information and resources, a warm lunch and presentations about Veterans Day for local veterans and their families, represents one of many ways Mercy Fitzgerald will add to its growing commitment to the military community.

“We wanted to tailor our approach to those veterans and families in our community whose health needs go unmet,” said U.S. Army veteran Dr. Theodore Katz, Medical Director for the Central Appeals Unit for Mercy. "Mercy Fitzgerald stands ready to welcome military members, veterans and their families. We aim to treat them as family with timely, compassionate, competent and culturally sensitive healthcare, which they greatly deserve and have earned."

Through its Military and Veterans Health Program, Mercy implemented specific protocols to help identify and treat service members, veterans and their families. The program, led by Dr. Katz and Susan Cusack, President of Mercy Fitzgerald and Mercy Philadelphia, provides specialized training to Mercy’s colleagues and staff to better understand and respond to the health concerns and challenges specific to the military community. The training includes:

  • Understanding of military culture, including the nuances of various military service branches
  • Key illnesses and injuries associated with military service and deployments
  • Effect of military service and deployments on family members
  • How to provide competent and compassionate care for current and former female service members

Philadelphia is home to more than 210,000 veterans, many of whom have very specific health needs. Most recognizably, traumatic combat experiences can cause post-traumatic stress disorder; however, veterans face a number of important, yet overlooked, health challenges. For example, veterans have a high rate of exposure to dangerous chemicals and radiation that can lead to pulmonary problems later in life. Also, even with vaccinations, many veterans are at risk for infectious diseases that do not affect civilians, such as the bacterial infection brucellosis, which can cause fever and affect the muscles and joints.