DA Hoovler Congratulates Prosecutor Awarded
with “Certificate of Appreciation” from the
United States Department of Veterans Affairs
Senior Assistant District Attorney Matthew Healy awarded with Certificate of Appreciation for actively assisting in VA Hudson Valley Health Care System outreach efforts
and preventing Veteran suicide.
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that on October 18, 2022, Senior Assistant District Attorney Matthew Healy was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation by the United Stated Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”). Representatives of the VA came to the District Attorney’s Office and surprised Senior Assistant District Attorney Healy with the Certificate of Appreciation. The Certificate stated that it was presented to Senior Assistant District Attorney Healy “For actively assisting in VA Hudson Valley Health Care System outreach efforts and preventing Veteran suicide,” and noted Senior Assistant District Attorney Healy’s “Dedication and Commitment to reach and connecting our Veterans to their hard-earned benefits reflects a commitment to continued service to our great Nation.” The Certificate was signed by Dawn Schaal, Medical Center Director of the VA Hudson Valley Health Care System, who personally presented the award to Senior Assistant District Attorney Healy, along with Carl LoFaro and Lenny Okall of the Hudson Valley VA Healthcare System. District Attorney Hoovler was also there to congratulate Senior Assistant District Attorney Healy during the surprise presentation of the award.
Since November 2021, Senior Assistant District Attorney Healy, a former Army paratrooper, has spearheaded the District Attorney’s Office’s efforts in partnering with Carl LaFaro, of the Hudson Valley VA Healthcare System, in forming the Orange County Veterans Suicide Prevention Coalition. Suicide numbers in Orange County are alarmingly high. Nationwide, about seventeen veterans succumb to suicide every day. Veteran suicide rates are fifty percent higher than non-veteran suicide rates. In an effort to reduce this sad statistic, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office partnered with the Hudson Valley VA Healthcare System to create the Orange County Veterans Suicide Prevention Coalition.
Since its formation, the Orange County Coalition to Prevent Veteran Suicide has been visiting local stores, businesses, and organizations, in, around and near Orange County, to ask for their help in preventing veteran suicide in their communities. The response was nothing short of fantastic. More than five hundred stores, businesses and organizations are displaying Veteran Crisis Line resources in the form of cards, magnets, stickers, posters, coasters, pill organizers, hankies, bookmarks and stress balls to increase awareness and promote access to this important resource for veterans in crisis. The Coalition also distributed thousands of gun locks, an option for veterans and others to use, should they decide to, to reduce access to the firearm for the veteran during a time of crisis. Research shows that barriers between a person with suicidal thoughts and the means to carry them out saves lives.
Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler and Mr. Carl LoFaro of the Hudson Valley VA Health Care System remind everyone that both veteran and youth suicides are a big problem in Orange County and across the country. Fortunately, community members can be part of the solution by learning about the warning signs of a mental health crisis and how to access the 24/7 Veterans Crisis Line.
“I am extremely proud of the work that Senior Assistant District Attorney Healy and the Orange County Veteran Suicide Prevention Coalition have done for Orange County veterans and their families and of the strong support that has been provided to the coalition by the citizens and businesses of Orange County,” said District Attorney David M. Hoovler. “If you or your organization would like any veteran crisis materials or information about any of the other Veterans groups helping us in Orange County, please contact Mr. Carl LoFaro of the Hudson Valley VA Healthcare System at email@example.com to get crisis materials sent to you or to set up a live meeting with your organization on this serious subject.”