Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Veterans Health Summit set in Canton next week

Julie Brown - Staff Writer

U.S. military veterans and their spouses are eligible for benefits in health and other areas. Health benefits are the focus of an upcoming Veterans' Health Summit offered by the Canton Community Foundation.
“It's changed over the years,” said Beth Meade, Canton Community Foundation president, of the free event. Now in the 10th year, the seminar will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 18 at Schoolcraft College's VisTaTech Center, on Haggerty Road north of Six Mile in Livonia.
Registration in advance is required by Sept. 13 at For more information, Meade can be reached at (734) 495-1200. Adult children of veterans also attend, such as those whose parents served in Vietnam.

“They would hear the information and then apply it to their parents,” she said.
Meade noted in earlier years the event was more general, and has since narrowed to focus on health. In the last five years, organizers have struggled “to reach that younger veteran community,” she said.
“They'd much rather do it on their own time. It's unfortunate because it's really good information,” said Meade, adding veterans can also ask questions face-to-face by attending.
On Sept. 18, veterans are asked to bring their DD214, and can meet with Veterans Service Officers in a quiet area to learn of health benefits.
Attendance is now 150-200, fewer than earlier years. She attributes that in part to younger service members being more tech-savvy and in the workforce.
A couple World War II veterans still attend as well as Vietnam and Operation Desert Storm personnel. Organizers have worked “to really consolidate it to the health needs of the veterans' community,” she said.
Those include long-term care, death benefits, and benefits available to spouses after the service member passes away.
“It's hard to stay on top of all of this. And then they give up” if frustrated by over automated systems. “There's a lot available to them,” in benefits, added Meade.
Attorney James Fausone, who has a Legal Help for Veterans group, now has the health seminar on “autopilot” in its organizing, she said. Fausone's wife, Carol Ann, is a retired brigadier general and registered nurse.
“We have a great facility at VisTaTech,” added Meade of the Schoolcraft College site
She and the other organizers appreciate veterans' service to this nation, and wish also to let widows know of survivor benefits and other government aid.
The seminar will include a free box lunch.