Bay Pines VAHCS to receive state-level ward for hiring practices on Oct. 1 - Bay Pines VA Healthcare System
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Bay Pines VA Healthcare System

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Bay Pines VAHCS to receive state-level ward for hiring practices on Oct. 1

September 30, 2014

BAY PINES, FL – The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System (VAHCS) will be officially recognized as a 2014 Exceptional Employer for the State of Florida for its commitment to hiring people with disabilities during a ceremony in Tallahassee, Fla. on Oct. 1.

The event will take place at the Tallahassee City Hall building located at 300 South Adams Street. An informational expo begins at 8:30 a.m., with the employer awards ceremony from 9:30-10:30 a.m. This free event is open to the public.

Hosted by the Florida Agency for Disabilities, Blind Services, and Vocational Rehabilitation, the annual award ceremony is being held in conjunction with National Disability Employment Awareness Month which is recognized during the month of October. The Bay Pines VAHCS is one of only seven public and private organizations from the state that will recognized during the event.

"Our hiring practice across the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System is to seek out and select the most highly skilled and competent employees available," said Suzanne M. Klinker, Director, Bay Pines VAHCS.

"Many of our most dedicated, and skilled employees have disabilities – some are Veterans and others have no military service but are committed to VA's mission and the heroes we serve. We are honored that they are all part of the VA family," she said.

The Bay Pines VAHCS was nominated for the state award by Placement Works Inc.; a non-profit job placement organization that works directly with the state – particularly Vocational Rehabilitation - to place individuals with disabilities. Many of the individuals placed by the organization have found permanent jobs within the Bay Pines VAHCS.

"We consider the VA as one of our most exceptional employers - they support folks with disabilities without reservation," said Christy Boccabella-Brown, President and Founder of Placement Works Inc. "We thank the VA for their ongoing support and consider their efforts a best practice for serving the disabled community."

Currently, the Bay Pines VAHCS employs more than 400 individuals with disabilities. On average, this number grows about .5 percent each year.

To learn more about the Bay Pines VAHCS, please visit or "like" us on Facebook at For more information about Florida's 2014 Exceptional Employer awards celebration, please visit

About the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System
The Bay Pines VAHCS is one of the nation's leading VA healthcare systems, employing more than 3,800 medical professionals and support staff dedicated to providing the very best care to Veterans residing in southwest Florida. The organization is the fourth busiest VA health care system in the country in terms of patients served and is accredited by The Joint Commission, Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and several other nationally recognized accrediting organizations. The Bay Pines VAHCS operates nine facilities to include the main medical center located in Bay Pines and outpatient clinics located in Bradenton, Cape Coral, Naples, Palm Harbor, Port Charlotte, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, and Sebring.