Peace Corps Announces Healthcare Feedback Mechanisms for PCVs, RPCVs
By Erica Burman on Thursday, June 20th, 2013
As supporters of the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) know, the NPCA has been collaborating with a group of Peace Corps Volunteers who have suffered post-service medical issues to help get their needs addressed by the Peace Corps.
Here’s a recap and an important update.
Last September, Health Justice for Peace Corps Volunteers advocate Nancy Tongue was our featured advocate of the month and the following month Acting Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet responded on our blog with information on what the agency is doing, and her personal commitment to change. NPCA also assisted the Health Justice Volunteers with the design of their survey for the RPCV community and getting the word out.
The spring issue of WorldView magazine included a story by Health Justice member Felicia Kenney (Benin 2003-04) that summarized activity to date and looked ahead as to what remains to be done (“Health Justice: Returned Volunteers conduct survey on health impacts“).
Kenney wrote, “Our next step is to talk with the Peace Corps about our results. After years of being ignored, we were able to get in touch, through the National Peace Corps Association, with the Peace Corps administration. The current leadership has been incredibly supportive and shown a real desire to improve the system for RPCVs.”
In the intervening months the Peace Corps has engaged seriously on this issue and devoted substantial resources to tackling the outstanding healthcare cases of RPCVs. As a result of a recent conversation between Nancy Tongue and the Director, the agency asked that the NPCA share the following message with our community:
The Peace Corps Office of Health Services provides medical and mental health services and support to the Peace Corps community and strives to promote a patient-centered culture that embraces quality, safety, and service satisfaction.
To ensure the Peace Corps continues to provide quality care, the agency offers currently serving and returned Volunteers the opportunity to ask questions and share comments and concerns. Volunteers currently in service can contact the Quality Improvement Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org. Returned Volunteers can contact the Post Service Unit at email@example.com. All feedback will receive a timely response.
We applaud the continued progress the agency is making to address the long standing health needs of returned Volunteers, and the sustained advocacy of the Health Justice for Peace Corps Volunteers members.