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Waver receives prestigious honor

By Suzannah Solomon Wilson

Carl Waver of Tallassee was one of five employees of the Central Alabama Veterans Healthcare System to be recognized by the VA and introduced to U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough when Sec. McDonough visited Alabama on June 17.

Sec. McDonough was in Alabama as part of a nationwide tour to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations.

Waver, a 1976 graduate of Reeltown High School, began his nursing career at Community Hospital in Tallassee. A joint effort of his mother, Clara Waver, and Mrs. LaRue Langford of Community Hospital resulted in a job as a nursing assistant when Carl was a senior at Reeltown.  

“My mother told me to give it two weeks, and I did,” he said, “I was there until 1987.”

While at Community Hospital, he earned his LPN degree and then an RN degree from Troy University at Montgomery.

Waver accepted a job at the Tuskegee VA in 1987 and has served in several capacities there. He began his career in pre-op and post-op, assisting with admitting of patients, prep for surgery, and recovery. In 1998, he worked in intermediate care with patients who needed extended care following surgery or who needed physical rehab. He left that are in 2003 and worked in ambulatory and outpatient care until 2016. Waver served as Acting Nurse Manger for the ambulatory care clinic at Tuskegee from November 2017 until 2019, and has served on the Nurse week Task force for the past three years, which improves employee engagement and morale.

Waver is currently the Traveling Veterans Coordinator for Central Alabama, which includes Tuskegee, Montgomery, the Wiregrass, Monroeville, Dothan, and also Ft. Benning and Columbus in Georgia.

He correlates care for veterans who are moving to a new area or are going to be away from home for a period of time and need medical care while they are away. For instance, he might coordinate dialysis for a veteran who wants to spend a week at the beach, or he might set up new primary care doctors for a patient who is moving to another state.

But it was Waver’s coordination of the Tuskegee VA’s COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic that caught the eye of his supervisors. As coordinator, hundred of veterans were able to receive the vaccine. There were evening clinics as well as clinics held during the day, and a clinic was held one Saturday a month from February to April. From Jan. 8 - June 4, 2021, the Tuskegee VA administered 6,802 doses. That number includes the first and second dose.

Carl and his wife, Jackie, who works at Community Hospital, are active in their church roles at Wall Street AME Zion Church and coordinate the concession stand for the Reeltown High School football program. They have one son, Calan, and two grandsons, Christian and Ryan.