Red Cross honors Coatesville VA employee

Recreation therapist lauded for ‘above and beyond’ work with veterans

Rich Yoegel (left), chair of the American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania Chester County Leadership Council and a member of its board, congratulates Ellen Barnes, this year’s Chester County hero. Photo courtesy of Alex Greenblatt

Rich Yoegel (left), chair of the American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania Chester County Leadership Council and a member of its board, congratulates Ellen Barnes, this year’s Chester County hero.
Photo courtesy of Alex Greenblatt

The American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania (SEPA) has honored a woman who exhibits the spirit of humanitarianism by supporting veterans in her community and going above and beyond her obligations to others.

Last week, the regional Red Cross held its annual celebration breakfast to honor “a Real Hero of Chester County:” Ellen Barnes, a recreation therapist at the Coatesville Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, an agency news release said.

Barnes started her career at the Coatesville VA in 1992 and has worked with geriatric veterans for more than 20 years, primarily on units for veterans with dementia and/or psychiatric illness. She began the Therapeutic Horse Riding program, an initiative that has flourished through a partnership between VA staff, the American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania, which supplies funding, and Thorncroft Equestrian Center in Malvern, which hosts the program.

The mission of the American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter is to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. The Red Cross is not a government agency, and all assistance is provided free of charge. Financial contributions are always welcomed and needed and can be made by going to www.RedCrossPhilly.org.

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Tags: Coatesville Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, Rich Yoegel, The American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania (SEPA), Thorncroft Equestrian Center

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