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Union City Pharmacy Teams Up With VA to Shed Light on Veteran Suicides



A Hudson County pharmacy sheds light on calling an end to Veteran suicide by implementing a suicide prevention QR code to help the community’s veterans.

Contigo Pharmacy, located at 3510 Bergenline Ave, Union City, NJ, has made an effort to increase awareness of preventing Veteran suicide and is the first business to partner with VA New Jersey Health Care System. VA New Jersey Health Care System, VANJHCS, is dedicated to improving the lives of Veterans and their families. They provide health care services in 11 different locations in New Jersey, including hospitals in East Orange and Lyons, and nine community-based outpatient clinics in Brick, Hackensack, Hamilton, Jersey City, Morristown, Paterson, Piscataway, Sussex, and Tinton Falls. 

The QR code increases user accessibility to Veterans in need and links to local VANJHCS suicide prevention resources, all with the scan of a smartphone camera. Once one has scanned the QR code, it will lead the user to an array of training, resources, and local VA contacts in New Jersey. 

Jeff Graciano and Ash Vora, owners of Contigo Pharmacy, say Veterans from across Union City come to their pharmacy for their specialized service to Veterans in need of support.

“We know this is a complex issue, and the whole community has to come together for our Vets and their families. Our community is strong, and we’re happy to be included,” the Pharmacist in Charge: Graciano notes; the QR code has been available to the public with the help of Suicide Prevention 2.0 initiative through the Veterans Health Administration.

Vora advocates, “Sometimes we see Veterans at difficult times in their lives. Having this QR Code as a resource for them will help us to be a bigger part of their wellness. Our pharmacy serves the community, and our Veterans are a big part of that.” Contigo Staff and Union City coalition members will be receiving training through VA to learn how to respond and act responsibly when faced with a Veteran who needs help and is experiencing suicidal thoughts.