The Jesse Brown VA Medical Center consists of a 188-bed care facility and four community-based outpatient clinics. Jesse Brown provides care to approximately 62,000 veterans who reside in the City of Chicago and Cook County, IL and in six counties in northwestern Indiana. A budget of over $235 million supports about 1,800 staff, including 180 physicians and 590 nurses.
But during our visit there last week, it became apparent that the spirit of the facility is in its 500 volunteers who are mostly war vets and family members of vets.
Herbert H. Adams is one of the 500 who has been volunteering at Jesse Brown for years. A Vietnam War vet, Herbert gives back to the facility in a simple, but oh-so-important way: he collects wheelchairs from each floor of the facility’s parking garage and deposits them on their appropriate hospital floors, readying them for use throughout the day. And how do we know this? We kind of forgot where we left the van in the parking garage, and there Herbert was holding the elevator three-chairs deep with a smile (on a couple of floors, actually…).
Herbert does this all day, yet he still found time to record two interviews during our Door-to-Door at Jesse Brown. He’s pictured here with Toccarra Thomas, who facilitated both of his sessions.