VA Center for Development and Civic Engagement
Compassionate Contact Corps
The Compassionate Contact Corps is a virtual social prescription program where trained volunteers are matched with Veterans that are experiencing loneliness or are socially isolated. The volunteer typically calls the Veteran weekly for 15—60 minutes to provide socialization and companionship via phone or video calls. Many volunteers come from Veteran service organizations and are Veterans themselves, but that is not a requirement to volunteer for the program.
The program has been featured in multiple VA articles and blogs and was mentioned in The New York Times series on The Future of Healthcare. It has also been recognized by The Beryl Institute and was designated a signature program by American Red Cross in 2021. Ten of the original program coordinators have received Secretary Honor Awards for their work developing the program. In 2021, over 700 volunteers made more than 13,000 calls to Veterans.
The program is at some stage of implementation at over 80 VA facilities across the country.
Volunteers — Contact your local VA Center for Development & Civic Engagement office (formerly known as VA Voluntary Service)
Veterans & caregivers — Speak with your VA primary care physician or VA social worker
- The negative impacts of loneliness } Indira Subramanian | TEDx RiverOaks (YouTube Video | 01/20/22)
- Why Social Prescribing Is The Future of Healthcare | Lori Murphy | TEDxRiverOaks (YouTube Video | 01/05/2022)
- Columbus VA CCC Program Addresses Critical Issue of Loneliness Among Veterans (FOX 28 | 12/23/2021)
- VA Compassionate Contact Corps: A Phone-Based Intervention for Veterans Interested In Speaking With Peers (Oxford Academic | 12/17/2021)
- Compassionate Connections for Our Veterans (NBC 4 | 12/06/2021)
- 2021 VHA Shark Tank Competition winners revealed at iEX (VAntage Point | 11/09/2021)
- Announcing the Volunteer Professionals Award for Excellence recipient! (Facebook | 04/29/2021)
- Doctors Harness the Power of Human Connections (The New York Times | 04/28/2021)
- VA, American Red Cross team up to provide virtual social engagement for Veterans during COVID-19 pandemic (American Red Cross | 03/29/2021)
- Synergy of pandemics-social isolation is associated with worsened Parkinson severity and quality of life (NPJ | 10/08/2020)