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Blinded Veterans Association - AFB Directory Profile

General Information

Blinded Veterans Association
477 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 371-8880 (Local)
(202) 371-8258 (Fax)
(800) 669-7079 (Toll-Free)
bva@bva.org
http://www.bva.org

Brief Description

The Blinded Veterans Association is an organization specifically established to promote the welfare of blinded veterans and offers many services to help veterans and their families meet the challenges of blindness.

BVA was and is the only veterans' service organization exclusively dedicated to serving America's blind and visually impaired veterans.

According to BVA, more than 100 service members have been blinded in Iraq and another 247 have lost vision in one eye.

Veterans don't have to lose their vision during military service to qualify for BVA assistance, and membership in BVA is not a prerequisite for any service.

Hours of operation: Mon.-Fri. 8:00 AM-4:30 PM
Clients served on average per year: 1,700
Number of staff: 22
Staff description: Executive Director, Department of Administration, Department of Communications, Department of Development, Department of Governmental Relations, Department of Finance, Department of Field Services, Membership Department
Geographic area served: United States and its territories.
Publications: BVA Bulletin (published four times per year and sent free in large print to all U.S. blinded veterans).

Locations

Varo, Suite 1-333,
1700 Clairmont Road
Decatur, GA 30031

1722 I Street, NW, Room 242
Washington, DC 20421

VA Medical Center
11000 Wilshire Boulevard
Room 5212
Los Angeles, CA 90024

VA Regional Office and Insurance Center
5000 Wissahickon Avenue
P.O. Box 42938
Philadephia, PA 19101

Hines VA Hospital
5000 South Fifth Avenue
Hines, IL 60141

Michael E. DeBakey Medical Center
2002 Holcombe Boulevard
Building 120, 114C VISOR
Houston, TX 77030

VA Medical Center
10535 Hospital Way
Building 11 Room 44
Mather, CA 95655-4200

Staff

Al Avina, Executive Director, aavina@bva.org
Alyson Alt, Membership Director, Membership, (202) 371-8880, aalt@bva.org
Douglas Brooks, Region 111, douglas.brooks@va.gov
Edward Eckroth, National Director of the Field Service Program, (202) 371-8880 3322, eeckroth@bva.org
Christina Hitchcock, Manager of Conventions/ Operation Peer Support, (202) 371-8880 3303, chitchcock@bva.org
Earl Ivie, Field Service Representative, Los Angeles Regional Office, (310) 235-6125, bviviee1@va.gov
Daniel Johnson, Region IV, daniel.johnson360d87@va.gov
Robert Malak, Field Service Representative, Milwaukee Regional Office, (414) 382-5123, robert.malak@vba.va.gov
Lazaro Martinez, Jr., Assistant National Director of the Field Service Program, Northern California Regional Office, (916) 843-7020, larry.martinez@va.gov
Stuart Nelson, Communications Coordinator, snelson@bva.org
Claudia Perry, Field Service Representative/Washington, DC Regional Office, (202) 530-9285, claudia.perry@va.gov
Kathryn Ruais, Director of Finance, (202) 371-8880 3317, kruais@bva.org
Cheryl Swaim, Director of Development, (202) 371-8880 3326, cswaim@bva.org
Thomas Zampieri, Director of Government Relations, (202) 371-8880 3305, tzampieri@bva.org

Services Offered

Services for Adults

  • Advocacy
    • BVA is a strong voice for blinded veterans before the legislative and executive branches of government. The organization presents testimony each year before the House and Senate Committees on Veterans Affairs. It also teams with other Veterans Service Organizations in working closely with VA to assure that all blinded veterans have access to excellent blind rehabilitation services.
  • Counseling
    • BVA National Field Service Officers provide counseling to other blinded veterans. They understand the complexities and emotions experienced by blinded veterans because they have been through the experience themselves. They are effective role models in helping newly blinded veterans find and follow the road to independence.
  • Information and Referral
    • Field Service Program helps blinded veterans take the first steps in adjusting to blindness, bringing focus and direction to their lives. They also provide inspiration, encouragement, and practical assistance in the benefit claims process.
  • Support Groups
    • BVA consists of 53 regional groups. The groups offer social and recreational activities, frequently uniting with other Veterans Service Organizations locally to advocate change. The BVA Auxiliary (BVAA) is composed of spouses, relatives, and friends of blinded veterans. The organization exists to support the BVA mission.
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