Dorn VA Medical Center holds second annual baby shower for veterans

Wednesday’s baby shower provided expectant veterans with gifts for their new babies. Chris Timmers photos.

Expectant Columbia veterans celebrated their impending motherhood Wednesday at the Poat auditorium on the VA campus. A baby shower was thrown for the ladies, in which car seats, clothing, and equipment accessories were among the gifts given to each vet.

The shower in Columbia was part of a nationwide event for female veterans and their families the week before Mother’s Day.

David Omura, Director and CEO of the Dorn VA, welcomed the women and their guests. He began his remarks by saying he just learned that the Defense Department approved a $17 million appropriation to build a new women’s health clinic on the Dorn campus. The building should be approximately 30,000 to 35,000 sq.-ft.

This commitment reflects the reality that the Columbia VA Medical Center is second highest in the nation in terms of caring for female veterans. According to Omura, last year there was an increase of 10.6 percent in new enrollments. “My job,” Omura claimed, “is to make sure we care for our lady vets as well as we do our male veterans.”

Helping Omura meet this challenge will be people like Patty Gatter whose company, The Breastfeeding Shop, assists veterans with arranging the acquisition of breast pumps and accessories. The company works with Tricare to ensure the mothers-to-be aren’t hit with out of pocket expenses for these machines. Also lending a hand will be volunteer coordinators like Liz Davidson and Adrin Hamilton, the Women Veterans Navigator. Overseeing it all is Rose Hutson, the Program Manager.

If you would like to see this program continue or if you simply wish to help our lady vets, call Rose at 803 776 4000 X4765.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment, Columbia, Richland County