Community Activist Makes Veteran’s Day Her Yearly Mission
There are 18.2 million veterans in the United States of America, 1.7 million of whom that do not have health coverage. In 2017, 1.4 million veterans reported having a service related disability. These staggering numbers make the need for easily accessible healthcare services more important than ever.
Theresa Siaw, Director of Business Development at OMNI Healthcare in Chicago and a community activist, uses her influence in the community to ensure that the Vets in the neighborhood receive the care they need. OMNI is an affordable healthcare clinic with multiple locations that believes healthcare is an essential right for all. To ensure this, OMNI works with all, veterans specifically, to make sure they are able to get the help and care they need regardless of their insurance or financial standing.
Studies have shown that 20% of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffer from either major depression or post-traumatic stress disorder and of that 20%, 19.5% of them experienced traumatic brain injury. Additionally, only about 50% of veterans in need of mental health resources will receive them. One of OMNI Healthcare services is behavior counseling which focuses on those two diagnoses, and offers individual counseling, psychiatric care, medication management and an outpatient program.
In addition to her support to veterans through her business, Theresa also works in the community to provide other services for veterans and show her appreciation for their efforts. While most veterans have a lower overall rate of poverty than non-veterans, not all of them are that lucky. The Department of Veterans Affairs shows that roughly 48% of veterans with a disability over the age of 65 live in poverty. Illinois alone has roughly 628 thousand veterans, of those more than half are over the age of 65.
Through her community outreach efforts, Theresa works to give back to these seniors through a number of initiatives. Almost weekly, she provides food to these seniors, whether it be distributing groceries or hosting a warm meal for them. She always distributes seasonal clothing items to ensure they all have the proper garments to protect against the elements that everyone encounters on a daily basis.
As one woman in not just a large city, but an entire country, Theresa works day in and day out to raise awareness of the needs of our treasured veterans. Outside of her own personal efforts to help Chicago and Illinois based veterans, she also works to raise awareness of the basic needs not being met for disenfranchised Vets.
With each passing year, she tried to extend the arm of her reach and the efforts she makes to help those in need, not just veterans but all members of the community in need. Most people get wrapped up in their own lives, forgetting that others out there are struggling with the simplest of things that we often take for granted. Theresa wants to provide a friendly reminder, especially around the holidays, that everyone can do small deeds to help those in need out.
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master’s of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.
She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen – one daughter-in-law; Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with her husband Gordon Duff, many cats, and two rescues.