Della Steege 2023-2024 National Hospital Ambassador

Headshot of Della Steege

Well, it’s that time of year everyone, the seasons are changing, and the weather is hot and dry one day or cold and wet the next. Soon we will see the leaves changing and the long dark days of winter upon us. September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness month; we all need to reduce the stigma of asking for help and remind people to stay in the fight, don’t wait, Reach Out. Madam National President Carla considers suicide prevention a high priority and by banding together for our veterans we can make a difference.


There is hope-please use the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline number.

When people call, text, or chat 988, they will be connected to trained counselors that are part of the existing Lifeline network. These trained counselors will listen, understand how their problems are affecting them, provide support, and connect them to resources if necessary.

Do you know the signs of someone at risk?


  • Are they talking about death, dying or suicide?
  • Are they looking at ways to kill oneself?
  • Are they showing self-destructive behavior?
  • Are they isolated or withdrawn during social interaction?


Women Veterans in Focus and October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

More than 2 million women veterans live in the U.S. today and women veterans have served across all branches and divisions of the military. The majority of the women who use the VA are within cities but those living in rural areas are increasing their usage of the VA system for their healthcare. Please take a minute to check for the benefits you’ve earned at  

Veteran Experience Surveys   

These surveys arrive by mail or email and it is very important for a veteran to fill out and return to the VA. These surveys score specialty care, primary care and give the facility an overall score.

The results of these surveys, whether it be positive or negative, are designed to give feedback that the Veterans Administration needs to improve overall quality of care. If a veteran has a negative experience or may have a suggestion on how to improve the process a patient advocate is who he/she should speak to.

Patient advocates are there to assist a veteran or family member that may have had a negative experience, these advocates are there to make sure those negative experiences are corrected and systems are put in to place to ensure that negative experience doesn’t happen again.

Are you aware that the Veterans Health Administration has a YouTube channel?

This channel has specialized programming that honors, entertains and informs veterans on many subjects. Keep in mind you can also follow the Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs on Facebook.

I want to thank all Department Chairmen, your introduction letters and promotions are really inspiring.

I truly love reading all of the creative ideas being put into action at our hospitals and homes.

Thank you for your continued support for our veteran patients and for promoting our wonderful Hospital Program.