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August 26, 2023

In August Podcast, King Recaps Veteran Affairs Secretary’s Visit to Maine

WASHINGTON D.C. – The Office of U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) today released the August episode of his “Inside Maine” podcast. The Senator was joined by Ryan Lilly, the Director of the Veterans Integrated Service Network, and Dan Hodgkins, the Senior Director of Social Work for Veterans Housing Services at Preble Street, to share their takeaways from the recent visit by Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough. During the episode, Senator King and his guests also discuss the importance of strong partnerships between the federal government and state organizations for Maine’s veterans.

“Maine veterans, and their families, have led lives of sacrifice in service to our country. We all share an obligation to ensure these brave men and women can access their hard earned benefits and healthcare resources,” said Senator King. “I was excited to have Secretary McDonough visit Maine to see our VA facilities and learn how state organizations are working in tandem with the federal government to support our veterans. As Maine veterans transition to civilian life, we have a responsibility to make sure they are healthy, secure and well taken care of. I appreciate Ryan Lilly and Dan Hodgkins joining me on this month’s episode of Inside Maine and for their continued support of our veteran community.”

Ryan Lilly is the Director of the Veterans Integrated Service Network, the VA New England Healthcare System (VISN 1) and is based in Maine. Mr. Lilly began his VA career as a Presidential Management Intern and has achieved continuous advancements through the VA ranks from medical center Finance Officer to Associate Director, Hospital Director for Togus Maine, and now regional leader of VISN1. VISN1 is comprised of 8 medical centers, 45 community-based outpatient clinics, 6 nursing homes and 2 domiciliaries (residential homeless treatment centers) in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine. As Network Director he manages a budget of $4.3 billion and oversees 17,000 employees. His network is the most highly affiliated network in the VA system with top medical schools and other learning institutions such as Harvard, Yale, Tufts, Dartmouth, Brown, Boston University and more. He strategically manages one of the largest medical and mental health research portfolios in the nation. He is currently a member of the VA National Academic Affiliations Council.

Dan Hodgkins is the Senior Director of Social Work for Veterans Housing Services at Preble Street in Portland, Maine. Prior to this position, he was Preble Street’s Senior Director of Veterans Housing Services for 5 years. During his time at Preble Street, he has led campaigns such as the 2021 ‘100 Veteran Challenge’ to house 100 Maine veterans in 100 days, as well as the recent ‘No Veterans Homeless’ campaign to end veteran homelessness in Maine by 2025. Mr. Hodgkins was a featured presenter for the VA’s ‘Rehousing in Focus: Creative Strategies and Approaches’ to discuss the innovative ‘100 Veterans Challenge’ as well as for the National Alliance to End Homelessness’ 2019 Conference where he discussed innovations in Rural Homelessness. He also served as the moderator for your recent panel with Representative Pingree and Secretary McDonough.

This podcast follows Senator King’s recent tour of Maine VA facilities with Dennis McDonough, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. During this visit, the Secretary toured Togus and a facility in Rumford. He also joined a panel in Portland to discuss how the federal agency is working to eradicate veteran homelessness. Through the “No Homeless Veterans Challenge,” the Maine Homeless Veteran Action Committee (HVAC) announced the goal of housing 100 Veterans before Veterans Day, November 11, 2023. There are currently around 200 known homeless veterans in Maine.

The ‘Inside Maine’ podcast aims to keep Maine people informed on issues and how they affect life in the state. It airs the last Saturday of each month.

To listen to the August edition of Senator King’s podcast, click HERE, or find it on apple podcasts.


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