graphic of a man in a wheelchair next to the PVA logo. Paralyzed Veterans of America.

Paralyzed Veterans of America Kicks-Off 78th Annual Convention in Minneapolis 
with Special Visit by VA Secretary Denis McDonough, Among Others

Post Date: May 16, 2024
Share This Article

WASHINGTON, DC (May 16, 2024) Paralyzed Veterans of America – the nation’s premier nonprofit of choice for disabled Veterans, their families, and caregivers – convened more than 100 of its top leaders to Minneapolis, Minnesota as part of its 78th Annual Convention May 13-18. Enhancing the week-long event was a special visit today by VA Secretary Denis McDonough, who stopped by to voice his continued support to PVA and its more than 16,000 members across the country. 

While onsite, Secretary McDonough delivered a speech emphasizing the importance of collaboration. He also commended the ongoing efforts of organizations, like PVA, in providing critical, full-circle support, and opportunities for veterans across the nation.

“Paralyzed Veterans of America is grateful and humbled by today’s visit with Secretary McDonough,” said PVA National President Robert Thomas. “Every year, we host our Annual Convention to celebrate achievements, address new challenges, explore future initiatives, and chart our course for the upcoming fiscal year – all with one goal in mind: to better support our Veterans with spinal cord injuries and diseases. Secretary McDonough’s presence today not only reinforced that goal but symbolically renewed our joint commitment to serving those who have served our nation.”

Throughout the Annual Convention, attendees sat in more than 30 sessions where they participated in a series of panel discussions aimed at addressing the evolving needs of veterans with spinal cord injuries and diseases. Topics ranged from advances in medical research to legislative advocacy efforts aimed at improving access to healthcare and benefits for veterans.

Tim Walz, who served 24 years in the U.S. Army National Guard and is now the Governor of Minnesota, kicked off PVA’s Annual Convention by presenting a proclamation of “Paralyzed Veterans of America Awareness Week” in the state of Minnesota, March 13-19. As part of the presentation, Governor Walz thanked PVA for improving the quality of life for all veterans living with spinal cord injuries, and diseases like MS and ALS. He also assured PVA leadership that Minnesotans remain united in their support for those who’ve raised their hand to serve and will continue to honor their service long after the battlefields have faded from memory. 

Just one day before the Annual Convention got underway, the VA and PVA joined forces at a Community Breakfast in Minneapolis and announced the 44th Annual National Veterans Wheelchair Games – the largest adaptive sports and rehabilitation event designed exclusively for U.S. military veterans with disabilities – was taking place in the Twin Cities July 17-22, 2025. The six-day, high-energy event will comprise more than 600 athletes, 20+ events, and over 3,000 volunteers from across the world, as well as offer infinite sponsorship opportunities.

To learn more about PVA visit and to get involved or become a sponsor of the National Veterans Wheelchair Games, visit


About Paralyzed Veterans of America
Paralyzed Veterans of America is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and the only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated solely for the benefit and representation of veterans with spinal cord injury or diseases. The organization ensures veterans receive the benefits earned through service to our nation; monitors their care in VA spinal cord injury units; and funds research and education in the search for a cure and improved care for individuals with paralysis. 

As a life-long partner and advocate for veterans and all people with disabilities, PVA also develops training and career services, works to ensure accessibility in public buildings and spaces, and provides health and rehabilitation opportunities through sports and recreation. With more than 70 offices and 33 chapters, Paralyzed Veterans of America serves veterans, their families, and their caregivers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Learn more at