Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center
Disabled Georgia Veterans master slopes in Colorado
April 9, 2018
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Veterans from the CSRA receiving care at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center Spinal Cord Injury Unit have been active at the 32nd National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass Village, Colorado this week.
Four area Veterans -- Tamara Lawter, Arthur Lee III, Joann Dickson-Smith and Steven Szynkowski -- have been participating in a variety of events, including Nordic and downhill skiing; sled hockey; rock climbing; scuba diving; paddling; and a wide variety of other sports and workshops.
"Of all the pictures and things we experience through the National VA special events, empty chairs is by far my most favorite picture. It just goes to show that impaired mobility does not limit experiencing life to the fullest extent,” said Suzanne Kenrick, a rehabilitation therapist from Charlie Norwood assisting the Veterans at the clinic.
The Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic is the largest rehabilitative event of its kind in the world and about 400 people are taking part. The clinic is made possible through a longstanding partnership with Disabled American Veterans. VA Augusta also has a pair of staff members on site assisting Veterans and running the clinic.
The Spinal Cord Injury Unit at Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center was established in 1981 and with 71 beds is one of the largest centers in the VA System, serving about 1,600 Veterans in the Southeastern US. The SCIU houses a variety of resources to ensure timely access to care, quality treatment and outstanding services for Veteran and active duty patients. The unit is CARF Accredited.
The Winter Sports Clinic gives Veterans with disabilities the opportunity and access to test their new-found abilities and develop new lifestyle skills. According to the DAV fact sheet about the event, "Participating in the Clinic’s extreme outdoor adventures, Veterans will learn to overcome perceived limitations and experience life to the fullest. At the Clinic, Veterans develop winter sports skills and take part in a variety of workshops and educational sessions that will positively impact their rehabilitative journey and readjustment in their communities."