Florida’s Gulf Coast VA Health Care System is accepting applications for the Medical Foster Home Program.

The Medical Foster Home, or MFH, program places veterans with various health problems in “foster homes” where they can receive treatment in a home environment. Jeanie Sherman, the program’s coordinator, said that the qualifications for a veteran “foster parent” are basic:

“If you possess good personal care skills, have space in your home and want to make a difference in a veteran’s life, then we are looking for you,” Sherman told the Northwest Florida Daily News. Foster homes must be within sixty miles of the Gulf Coast VA Health Care System’s Joint Ambulatory Care Center on Highway 98 West in Pensacola.

In addition, foster homes will be screened by the VA and foster families will receive assistance from the VA’s Home Based Primary Care staff, which will make routine visits to foster homes as well as some unannounced visits, to ensure that the veterans in the program are receiving the very best care.

Potential foster families will also be screened by the VA, and matched to a veteran in need. A caregiver can house up to three veterans at one time through the MFH program, and must be able to provide twenty-four hour care. Foster caregivers will be compensated, either by the veteran’s family or the veteran themselves. Pay, of course, is based on the level of care that the veteran requires.

The Gulf Coast VA believes, though, that people will want to welcome veterans into their homes simply because it gives them an opportunity to give back to the people who made great sacrifices to their fellow citizens.

Those who may be interested and are living in the communities of Atmore, Bay Minette, Daphne, Milton, Pace, Cantonment, Gulf Breeze and Navarre are welcome to apply as well.

For more information about becoming a veteran “foster parent,” give the GCVA a call at 850-912-2297 or email MFH Program coordinator Jeanie Sherman at Jeanie.sherman@va.gov.

What a great way to give back to the community and send the ultimate “Thank you!” to a veteran!

Veterans face a number of health issues – some returned from their service disabled, and have developed complications as a result of their disability. Others have developed illnesses as a result of exposures sustained during their time in the military, such as the asbestos-caused cancer mesothelioma or respiratory and brain issues caused by Agent Orange exposure. Still, others have developed illnesses common to aging adults, and require special care. Whatever their health concern, veterans deserve the very best care. I encourage those in the Pensacola area to consider fostering a vet in need of health assistance!