New partnership giving Birmingham VA employees more child care options

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for health care workers who also have children in virtual learning. But thanks to a new partnership, employees at the Birmingham VA Health Care System don’t have to worry as much about those challenges.

The VA has partnered with the Greater Birmingham YMCA and La Petite Academy to provide the VA’s employees with child care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Stacy Vasquez, director of the Birmingham VA Healthcare System, said that alleviates a major concern many employees had.

“They would say, ‘Stacy we’re really concerned with the way school’s coming back in different counties about how we’re going to take care of our kids and still come to work and take care of patients,'” Vasquez said.

Stephanie Hendrix, a registered nurse at the VA, is one of the parents participating. The YMCA is taking care of her 8-year-old twins while she’s working. She said they’re able to take their Chromebooks, and camp counselors help them do their work.

“This has really been a wonderful opportunity,” Hendrix said. “I am not concerned about what’s going on. They’re in that safe environment. It makes me feel really, really confident that I put my children in the right place.”

It also helps her at work, where she’s able to keep her focus on her patients without having to worry about child care.

“As a nurse, you have to be able to be focused, you have to be able to make right decisions, make the right calls, notice any signs and symptoms in your patients,” she said. “And so you have to be really focused to do a good job and provide quality care.”

That’s especially important now as health care professionals at the VA take care of COVID-19 patients.


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