13 August 2021 MDVA News and Announcements

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Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs

News and Announcements  -  August 13, 2021


Long Serving Charlotte Hall Veterans Home Director to Retire

Charlotte Hall logo

Sharon Murphy, who has served at Charlotte Hall Veterans Home, (CHVH) since before the facility opened will be retiring later this year.  Sharon was initially hired in July 1984 when she joined the small staff at Charlotte Hall Veterans Home as the Assistant to the Commandant.  As the veterans home grew, so did Sharon's responsibilities. She was appointed in June 2008 to the position of Director, Veterans Home Program.  Sharon has now announced her retirement, and a reception was held in her honor last week.  She will be with us into September helping with the transition, because Sharon cannot step away from her dedicated career without making sure that residents and staff are in good hands.

Sharon Murphy Reception

A photo taken at the reception announcing Sharon Murphy's retirement, from left to right: Rodney Jones, Deputy Director CHVH, Angela Quade, Fiscal Compliance Coordinator CHVH, MDVA Deputy Secretary Robert Finn, Ashley Radano, Contract Compliance Coordinator CHVH, Michelle Cariaso, Quality Assurance Manager CHVH, Sharon Murphy, Outgoing Director, CHVH and MDVA Secretary George Owings.

Commissioners at Wellspring

MDVA Secretary George Owings, KT Tyler, Chairman of the Maryland Veterans Commission and several Commissioners visited Wellspring of Life Farm to learn more about the equine therapy program there.

In this photo from left to right: Maryland Veterans Commission Chairman KT Tyler, and Commissioners Ronald Holcombe, Joe Smith and Karen Calvert.

Brian with Magic

Air Force Veteran Brian (center) places a bridle on Magic at Wellspring of Life Farm.  There are more photos of the visit to Wellspring in the Community News Section below.

See Video of Wellspring of Life Farm Here

Roger Barnes photo

Mr. Roger Barnes (holding the certificate) was bid a fond farewell as he left MDVA. Roger was a supportive colleague and served veterans and family members for five years at MDVA. He started with the Cemetery and Memorials Program as a caretaker and was promoted to grounds supervisor then to Assistant Superintendent at Cheltenham Veterans Cemetery.  He will be missed by his colleagues.

From left to right are: Marcel Desper, Office Secretary, Dimitra Johnson, Superintendent, Roger Barnes, MDVA Secretary George Owings and Russell Ware, Director, Cemetery & Memorial Program.

Charlotte Hall Veterans Home pony visit

Underwritten by a generous grant from Northrop Grumman, Greenwell staff, ponies and horses returned to Charlotte Hall Veterans Home last month for a visit with our beloved veterans and their wonderful caregivers. There were hugs and kisses, songs and stories and happy tears. We are so grateful to Northrop Grumman for their support, and look forward to welcoming our Charlotte Hall friends back to the Greenwell Foundation campus just as soon as we can.

Photo and text courtesy of Greenwell Foundation

Commissioner Rosas

Commissioner Raul Rosas (on the right), who represents Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans on the Maryland Veterans Commission makes a presentation to MDVA Secretary George Owings.  Commissioner Rosas presented a Congressional Gold Medal replica to Secretary Owings on behalf of Lift A Vet and the Borinqueneers Congressional Gold Medal National Committee President, Mr. Sam Rodriguez.

Maryland Veterans Commissioner Cynthia Macri, M.D. shared information concerning a program based at the 40-acre campus of the Woodend Sanctuary in Chevy Chase.  Veterans and family members are invited to sign up for this inaugural 8 week workshop. The campus is equipped with a brand new fully accessible path with accommodations to fill the needs of veterans and family members.  The workshop includes evidence-based activities to empower participants to engage in Chronic Disease Self-Management strategies led by two certified peer leaders.   Read More Here

Drake photo

Secretary Owings met last week with Drake Smith, who spent the summer interning with Delegate Mike Rogers (Colonel, USA, retired). 

Drake is a 2021 graduate of Meade Senior High School and he will be attending Lincoln University (PA) in the fall majoring in Political Science. During Drake’s senior year, he was the Student Member of the Anne Arundel County Board of Education. 

MDVA Website

State Partner News

Governor's Office of Small, Minority & Women Owned Business Affairs also helps Veterans

Maryland Flag Waiving

Maryland is OPEN for Business. As a coordinating office for Governor Larry Hogan, the Governor's Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs connects small businesses, including those owned by minorities, women, and veterans to greater economic opportunities.  Learn more by visiting our website at goMDsmallbiz.maryland.gov and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter @goMDsmallbiz.

Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling

Military service members and veterans are at greater risk than the general public for developing problem gambling. The Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling offers Active Military Members and Veterans information on problem gambling and how to get help.

Read More Here

Glenn's Gamble

No Cost Treatment is available for those with a gambling problem and/or their family members. Even if your family member is not ready to change, information can be helpful to you now.

Learn More Now about No Cost Treatment

The Circuit Court for Prince George’s County Veterans Court Team Update

The Circuit Court for Prince George’s County Veterans Court Team accomplished a landmark achievement over the summer: The team prepared simultaneous benefit packages for the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs on behalf of 2019 Graduate Veteran Wilbert F. Dickerson.  After three years of hard work by the team, Mr. Dickerson received favorable relief from the Army Review Board Agency. Mr. Dickerson is now an Honorably discharged Veteran of the United States Army.

Read More Here 

University of Maryland Study Seeking Veterans:

Have you experienced a traumatic event in your life? Do thoughts about this experience affect you now? Do you use alcohol to get relief? We are conducting a research study of a medication that may help people who have experienced a traumatic event feel better and drink less. Traumatic events are things like physical or sexual assault, war zone exposure, serious accidents, and natural disasters. To learn more, go to: http://www.rethinkyourdrinking.org/, email us at rethinkyourdrinking@som.umaryland.edu, or contact us by phone (410) 402-6412.

Federal Partner News

Women Veterans

The Military Women's Memorial schedules a

Remembrance Relay

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks-the horrific acts of terrorism that changed America forever. Since that fateful day and the attacks on our nation's freedoms, 174 servicewomen have died in combat zones around the world. They left behind families, loved ones, and most importantly, legacies of strength, sacrifice, bravery, and patriotism.  
The Military Women's Memorial will pay tribute to these women and those who were killed on 9/11 with a 174-mile Remembrance Relay beginning September 5. The relay will end on September 11th at the Military Women’s Memorial with a closing ceremony. Learn more here.
Women's Memorial

Federal News

August 18th: Veterans and Service Members can learn about paying for college 

Yellow Ribbon School Aid

Veteran Readiness & Employment

Martinsburg VA Medical Center: BBQ Bootcamp, Hope and Compassion, one hot meal at a time

Washington, DC VA Community Life Center: Receives 5-Star rating

Veterans Crisis Line reaches out with Caring Letters

VA research reveals link between moral injury and suicide risk

40th National Veterans Wheelchair Games held this week

What is Gulf War Illness

VA General Community Care Program Overview and Eligibility Requirements

Sarcoma Cancer vs Skin Cancer

Breast Cancer Screening Saves Lives and Families

New Scanning Technology could help diagnose Alzheimer's using light

VA Online Scheduling lets Eligible Veterans Request Community Providers

Afghanistan: How Veterans Can Reconcile Service

Afghanistan: How Veterans can learn from Vietnam Veterans

Live Whole Health #82: Managing Neck Pain with Acupressure

Live Whole Health #83: Breathing in the Moment

Study Reports on experiences of LGB Vietnam-era Veterans

Military Sexual Trauma Survivors see increased claim grant rates

VA to start processing certain conditions related to particulate matter

New VA Disability Presumptives for Asthma, Rhinitis and Sinusitis

VA and NARA to digitize federal records for veterans

VA: Protect Your Benefits by Reporting Scams and Fraud

Consumer Fraud Alert: Tips for Avoiding VA Home Loan Scams

Do Veterans Make More Money than Civilians?

VA engineers keep hospital running.  Apply today for employment opportunities

Hiring Our Heroes "Committed to America's Heroes Sweepstakes" giving away a Toyota

VA Welcome Home

Please RSVP by emailing: 


by September 6, 2021

(Link to event will be sent prior to event) 

Call 410-605-7259 if you do not receive email confirmation.

VA EDI event

VHA will conduct 55 virtual diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) listening sessions for Veterans August-September 2021 in support of Executive Order (EO) 13985 on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities through the Federal Government. The purpose of the sessions is to gather feedback on Veterans’ experiences and perceptions related to DE&I at VA healthcare facilities, ways Veterans feel they can be included, barriers to effective healthcare for diverse Veteran populations, and unmet needs of diverse Veteran populations. VHA will conduct sessions for eight locations across the US.

  • San Francisco (Aug 16-17)
  • Sacramento, CA (Aug 19)
  • Kansas City, MO (Aug 23-24)
  • Tulsa, OK (Aug 26)
  • Augusta, GA (Sep 13-14)
  • Louisville, KY (Sep 15-16)
  • Hampton, VA (Sep 20-21)
  • Baltimore, MD (Sep 22-23)
  • Make-up sessions for all eight locations (Sep 28 & 30)

There are six sessions for each location:

  1. Racial and ethnic minorities
  2. LGBTQ+ Veterans
  3. Veterans with disabilities
  4. Women Veterans
  5. Religious minorities and persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent inequality
  6. Roundtable for community partners

Participants can register for the listening sessions at www.va.gov/ORMDI.


Community Partner News

For Your Information

The Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs does not endorse the organizations sponsoring these events, and we do not endorse the views they express or the products/services they offer.  The views and opinions expressed in any referenced document do not necessarily state or reflect those of MDVA.  The information provided is intended for your general knowledge only, and serves solely as a MDVA community outreach effort.

Community News

"Shout Out to Veterans": video from Greenbelt American Legion Auxiliary Unit 136


Veterans Launching Ventures - Free Online Class to Start or Grow Your Own Business


The Healing Farm - Equines for the Military Therapeutic Recreation


The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Easterseals Upcoming Events


Smiles for America: Dental Care for Heroes

Project Opportunity has scheduled fall classes for Veteran Entrepreneurs:

Eastern Shore Orientation Class is scheduled for August 18, 2021: Flier

Baltimore City Orientation Class scheduled for August 19, 2021: Flier

Southern Maryland Orientation Class scheduled for August 24, 2021: Flier

Prince George's County Orientation Class scheduled for August 26, 2021: Flier

Entrepreneur training for Spouses of Veterans, Active Duty and Guard/Reserve Personnel - Orientation Class August 30th in Annapolis: Flier

Voices of Vets is returning to in-person events:

Wednesday, September 1 - FREE CONCERT at Elks Camp Barrett in Annapolis
Monday, October 18 - VOICERAISER on Oct. 18th and 21st in Columbia, MD - more information coming soon. R.S.V.P.

EEA event

Community Calendar

August 14, 2021

Experimental Aircraft Association Open House, Frederick (see flier directly above)

Women United Veterans Committee, Inc. hosts 2021 Men's Seminar: Mental Health, PTS, MST, Location: Bowie to attend in-person or Zoom Meeting Information

August 17, 2021

For Healthcare, Behavioral & Mental Health Providers: 15 Things Veterans Want You to Know

August 18, 2021

Project Opportunity Orientation Day, Salisbury

VA Seminar: Learn about paying for college

August 19, 2021

Project Opportunity Orientation Day, Baltimore

August 22, 2021

Introduction to Hero Dogs

August 24, 2021

Project Opportunity Orientation Day, Waldorf

August 26, 2021

Project Opportunity Orientation Day, National Harbor

August 28, 2021

Fleet Reserve Association Open House, Annapolis

DAV Veterans Information & Benefits Clinic, Dundalk

August 30, 2021

Project Opportunity Orientation Day for Spouses, Annapolis

August 29, 2021

Women Veterans United Committee, Inc. hosts: Veteran Baby Shower

September 1, 2021

Voices of Vets Free Summer Concert, Annapolis

September 3, 2021

Military and First Responders Appreciation Day at State Fair - see flier below

State Fair flier

Secretary Owings at Wellspring

MDVA Secretary Owings on the left greets one of the horses at Wellspring Farm.  Dawn Leung, CEO of Wellspring is holding the bridle and Commissioner Joe Smith is to the right.

Magic with Cart

Brian and Dawn are driving the cart pulled by Magic, while Secretary Owings and Commissioners enjoy a ride in the cart.

2nd Charlotte Hall photo

Another photo from the Charlotte Hall reception for Sharon Murphy.  In this photo are: MDVA Secretary George Owings, Judy Young, MDS Director and Leslie Steffey, Assistant Director of Nursing.

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