More than 100 disabled Veterans and their caregivers, along with U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) staff, Disabled American Veterans (DAV) staff, volunteers and event sponsors including TriWest Healthcare Alliance (TriWest), gathered Sept. 11 – 16 for the National Disabled Veterans Golf Clinic for recreation, rehabilitation – and camaraderie.
“TriWest’s support of this event represents our organization’s culture of serving the health care needs of the military and Veteran communities,” – Adrian Atizado, TriWest Director, Government Relations
Open to eligible Veterans with life-changing disabilities and held at various locations and courses in and around Iowa City, Iowa, the event’s mission sought to “inspire Veterans to challenge their limitations and improve their quality of life by actively engaging in rehabilitation and therapy.”
The Disabled Veterans Golf Clinic participants worked to improve their quality of life and well-being through adaptive golf instruction and several other recreational sports. The Golf Clinic also promoted fellowship and camaraderie in a therapeutic format that made the activities accessible, while inviting disabled Veterans to develop skills, and in doing so, also strengthen self-esteem.
VA and the DAV presented the rehabilitation golf and recreation program with TriWest and other organizations partnering as sponsors. The Iowa City Veterans Affairs Health Care System hosted the clinic.
Adrian Atizado, TriWest Director, Government Relations, who attended the event, expressed TriWest’s honor in support of the National Disabled Veterans Golf Clinic and TriWest’s company-wide commitment to ensure the nation’s Veterans have access to health care they have earned and deserve. “TriWest’s support of this event represents our organization’s culture of serving the health care needs of the military and Veteran communities,” he said.
The entire Iowa City community showed passion and support during the weeklong event, according to Atizado. He emphasized that through his participation at the Golf Clinic he “truly appreciated the opportunity to strengthen our relationship with likeminded organizations and their leadership.”
Beyond TriWest’s proud support for the event, Atizado also shared the value of participating as a volunteer at the Disabled Veterans Golf Clinic and similar events. “Just as important,” he said, “was the opportunity to volunteer in whatever capacity needed to ensure Veteran participants had the opportunity to demonstrate to themselves – that having a visual or a physical impairment does not have to define who they are but allows them to redefine who they are and what they can accomplish,” he emphasized.
Glenn Gray, TriWest Director, Customer Care and Community Relations, who also attended the clinic, shared impressions of TriWest’s first experience supporting the event. “This is the first time TriWest sponsored the National Disabled Veterans Golf Clinic,” Gray said. “I wasn’t sure why this national event was held in Iowa City – until we were given a tour of the adaptive golf lab where Veterans are evaluated and fitted with adaptive golf equipment, from clubs to specially-designed golf carts for paralyzed Veterans,” he explained. “It was impressive to see paralyzed and blind Veterans out on the course, enjoying their experience with other Veterans, thanks to the adaptive equipment,” he added.
The Disabled Veterans Golf Clinic, Gray also noted, provided other activities including adaptive bicycling, kayaking and rock wall climbing, with credits to Denver-based Adaptive Adventures. TriWest is a long-time supporter of Adaptive Adventures and its Veteran adaptive sports programs, which are hosted at VA medical centers across the nation and show Veterans how participating in adaptive sports in their own communities can improve their physical, mental and emotional well-being.
As a company committed to supporting Veterans, TriWest has a long history of contributing to a wide variety of military and Veteran-focused organizations as part of its ongoing dedication to serving those who have sacrificed and served in defense of the nation.