Three faculty from Yale's Schools of Nursing and Medicine led 31 first-year GEPN students to Stand Down on September 10. This annual event provides services to needy veterans from across Connecticut.
YSN joined volunteers from 50 government and private organizations providing a range of support, including medical screenings, social service assistance, legal help, job counseling, and VA benefits information. They were also given haircuts, a warm lunch, and new clothing.
Now in its 15th year, Stand Down drew a record 1200 attendees. YSN students checked blood pressure, oxygen levels, and blood glucose, and gave tetanus injections.
YSN's contingent was led by Assistant Professor Linda Pellico, who reported that the representatives from the class of 2013 were "poised, compassionate, and joyful."
Pellico said that another group of RNs at the event inquired whether the students were completing their second or final year at YSN. "I responded, 'They are completing their sixth day.'"
The event was led by YSN alumna and state Veterans' Affairs Commissioner Linda S. Schwartz, RN, MSN '84, DrPH '98, FAAN. "As unemployment remains steady, more and more veterans of all ages are struggling to maintain an acceptable quality of life,” she said. “Stand Down offers a safe haven for any veteran in need to gain valuable information and assistance."
"Stand Down" is a term used during the Vietnam War for a safe area that gave battle-weary soldiers a place to relax and attend to personal needs such as showers, medical care, and a warm meal. YSN has participated since 2006.