Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs
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News Releases
Videos, Cards Come in from Around the World to Encourage Staff, Residents at Oregon Veterans' Home (Video) - 03/28/20

While millions of Americans adjust to the new realities brought about by the unprecedented public health situation that is the coronavirus pandemic, some are reaching out to the residents of the Oregon Veterans’ Home in Lebanon to assure them they are appreciated, cared for and remembered.

Staff at the Home and Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs call it “Operation Well Wish,” and the well wishes have flooded in from all over. Many have sent letters, postcards, pictures and artwork, which are cleared by the Home’s infection prevention team before being shared with residents.

Others have sent in videos, and thanks to an article this week by the military-focused media outlet We Are The Mighty, they have come in from Virginia, Ohio, Texas, North Carolina, Hawaii and even as far as Italy. These videos are being played for residents on the Home’s closed-circuit TV channel.

Some have included their children or pets. Others have shown video footage from their favorite places in nature at their hometowns. Some have sung their favorite songs.

(Some of these videos have been cleared for public release, and are available for media to use and disseminate at the following link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1J8av68xi073H5hQsm6gaabrOrCI8AMIm)

“With the lock-down protocols that are currently in place to keep our community safe, it has been a tremendous change in the residents’ way of life,” said ODVA Director Kelly Fitzpatrick. “These men and women at our Lebanon Veterans’ Home have borne the battles to keep this nation safe and free. It’s wonderful for so many of the people that they have protected to be remembering them in this challenging time.”

One resident of the Home, Vern, a U.S. Army Korean War veteran, said he turns on the closed circuit TV channel first thing every morning.

“It is encouraging,” he said. “While this virus is going on, I think this is a very good idea!”

Lebanon Veterans’ Home Program Director Jeremy Woodall said the well wishes have been a huge boost to both residents, who have been isolated in their rooms for over two weeks as part of the facility’s infectious disease prevention protocols, and staff, who have been working tirelessly to provide excellent care.

“Seeing the smiles and songs and well wishes come in from literally around the world has lifted their spirits,” he said. “Young children, men and women, veterans and civilians… everyone has a chance share love and hope to others in this time.”

If you would like to be part of Operation Well Wish, please send your cards, letters or other materials in an unlicked envelope to ATTN: Operation Well Wish, Oregon Veterans’ Home, 600 N. 5th St., Lebanon, OR 97355. Videos may be sent to mation@odva.state.or.us">ODVAInformation@odva.state.or.us.

Oregon Veterans' Home in Lebanon
Oregon Veterans' Home in Lebanon
Veteran Resident at Lebanon Veterans' Home Dies from Coronavirus-Related Complications (Photo) - 03/22/20

It is with the deepest sadness that we announce the passing of one of the honored residents of the Oregon Veterans’ Home in Lebanon due to complications related to COVID-19. The resident passed away early on the morning of March 22.

“Our hearts are heavy,” said ODVA Director Kelly Fitzpatrick. “This resident was a veteran who served our nation with honor and dignity in its hour of need. He was also a beloved member of our Lebanon community, and he will be deeply and truly missed. On behalf of everyone at the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Oregon Veterans’ Home, we offer our sincere condolences to his family and loved ones. We grieve with them.

“At the Lebanon Home, staff continue to diligently follow established infectious disease prevention protocols and public health guidelines,” Director Fitzpatrick continued. “We know they are doing everything in their power to stop the spread of coronavirus and keep our community safe. All possible resources are being made available to support them in their critical work.”

Since the opening of the Home in 2014, every veteran resident who has passed away has been honored with the “Walk of Honor” in recognition of their service to our country. Typically, staff, residents and family would line the halls to salute and pay their last respects.

Today, amid the COVID-19 situation, staff adjusted this long-honored tribute.  Outside, staff were invited to line the sidewalks (maintaining appropriate social distancing) while his body was escorted to the waiting transportation, draped with a burial flag and a handmade quilt from Quilts of Valor.

Staff fold the burial flag 13 times in accordance with honor guard standards and present it to a family member. Multiple precautionary sterilization measures were taken to protect against the spread of the virus.

“The Walk of Honor is the last form of respect we can offer to honor our veteran and their family,” said Director Fitzpatrick. “In these unprecedented times, traditions are more important than ever. We will continue to ensure our brothers and sisters in arms receive every honor they deserve while following public health guidelines.”

Out of consideration for the family and confidentiality required by HIPAA, ODVA will not be releasing the resident’s name or other personal information.

Attached Media Files: Oregon Veterans' Home in Lebanon
MEDIA AVAILABILITY: Medical Director to Offer Clinical Update on COVID-19 Situation at Oregon Veterans' Home in Lebanon - 03/19/20

The Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs is pleased to announce that COVID-19 testing has been completed on all 151 residents at the Oregon Veterans’ Home in Lebanon. There are 14 residents who have tested positive for COVID-19, and who are being cared for by dedicated staff members following established infectious disease prevention protocols and public health guidelines.

Dr. Rob Richardson, D.O., one of the medical directors at the Home, will be available by teleconference today to give media an update on the clinical status of the residents who are COVID-positive and answer questions about the care that is being provided at the Home. 

When: 3:30 p.m., Thursday, March 19

Call-in Information: 866-377-3315. Participant Code: 7605314#

Dr. Richardson is a doctor of osteopathic medicine and has been in family practice for 40 years. He also works with Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital and is an assistant professor at the Western University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific-Northwest.

Oregon Veterans' Home in Lebanon
Oregon Veterans' Home in Lebanon
COVID-19 Testing Completed for 151 Residents at Oregon Veterans' Home in Lebanon (Photo) - 03/18/20

The Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs is pleased to announce that COVID-19 testing has been completed on all 151 residents at the Oregon Veterans’ Home in Lebanon. There are no new positive results, and none further pending.

There remain 14 residents who have tested positive for presumptive cases of COVID-19 and who are being cared for by dedicated staff members following established infectious disease prevention protocols and public health guidelines.

One staff member at the Home has also tested positive. The employee was sent home when symptoms appeared and has remained in isolation ever since, in accordance with established infection prevention protocols and public health guidelines.

“We are grateful for the good news from our partners at OHA that no new residents had tested presumptive positive for COVID-19,” said ODVA Director Kelly Fitzpatrick. “While completion of the resident testing is an important milestone, it is only one phase in this process. Our concerns remain with our 14 honored residents who are presumptive positive, and with our hard-working staff who are ensuring they receive the best possible care. Our efforts remain laser focused on following established infectious disease prevention protocols and public health guidelines to keep our residents and staff safe and prevent the spread of this virus within our community.”

As information changes ODVA is keeping residents and family members informed through email and other means.

Family members and the general public may also access current status at oregonveteranshomes.com or by calling the COVID-19 information line at 541-730-4344 for a recorded message that will be updated each day at noon.

Attached Media Files: Oregon Veterans' Home in Lebanon
Four Additional Residents of Oregon Veterans' Home in Lebanon Test Positive for Presumptive COVID-19 - 03/16/20

Four additional residents of the Oregon Veterans’ Home in Lebanon have tested positive for presumptive cases of COVID-19, the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs was notified this afternoon.

ODVA is collaborating closely with state health officials, and these four additional cases will be added to the state's overall COVID-19 numbers tomorrow.

The Home now has a total of 13 residents with presumptive positive cases of COVID-19. Twelve of the residents are veterans, and one is a veterans’ spouse.

One staff member has also tested positive. The employee was sent home when symptoms appeared and has remained in isolation ever since, in accordance with established infection prevention protocols and public health guidelines.

“In the midst of this unprecedented public health crisis facing our state and nation, the focus and efforts of the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Lebanon Veterans’ Home staff remain on our now 13 residents and one employee who have tested presumptive positive for COVID-19. Our staff are working tirelessly to provide the residents the best possible care and attention,” said ODVA Director Kelly Fitzpatrick. “Though we’d hoped for the best, we always knew we were likely to receive more positive results as our partners at OHA continued testing for the virus. Our staff continue to diligently follow established infectious disease prevention protocols and public health guidelines. We know they are doing everything in their power to stop the spread of coronavirus and keep our community safe. All possible resources are being made available to support them in their critical work.”

ODVA is staying in regular communication with residents’ family members through email and other means. Family and the general public can also access current information at oregonveteranshomes.com or by calling the COVID-19 information line at 541-730-4344 for a recorded message that will be updated each day at noon.