What's New at Your VA?
VA is constantly working to provide more excellent service and care for Veterans. This includes new programs and initiatives, advanced training, and renovations and improvements to enhance health care facilities. Each VA project is an opportunity to improve the delivery of services to America's heroes. Featured below are some of the exciting improvements in quality of care taking place around the country: Click on the region below to find out what's new in that area.
Recreation Therapy Program Keeps Veterans Active
Recreation and leisure activities have been important elements of Veterans' health care since the opening of the first veterans' facilities following the Civil War. Over the past 60 years advances in therapy practices have recognized the tremendous value of recreation therapy in improving Veterans' quality of life while hospitalized and after returning home.
"Our work goes hand-in-hand with the work of VA doctors, nurses and rehabilitation teams," said Jamie Sloan, VA Pittsburgh Recreation & Creative Arts Therapy Supervisor. "Recreation and Creative Arts Therapists are focused on helping Veterans with their physical, social and emotional well-being through the many different avenues available to us." Read more...
3D Printing Improves Vets Lives
The development of real time solutions to complex problems – in this instance the fabrication of customized prosthetic devices to drive Veteran autonomy – is the premise behind work being done by Hampton VAMC and Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) researchers as they look at ways to integrate 3D printing technology and medicine for the benefit of local Veterans.
3D printing technology, which evolved from the same advances that serve as the foundation for stereo lithographic printers and the everyday laser and inkjet printing devices people use at work, was patented in 1980 and has seen tremendous strides and adoption from plastics and industrial manufacturing into the medical space. From utilizing the technology to develop preoperative models for surgeons s and physicians to practice and plan procedures, to crafting patient specific parts for medical devices, Hampton physicians are taking the tech to the next level. Read more...
The Healing Garden
Around the corner from a large green sign that reads: “Milwaukee: population 595,000,” rests a tranquil place that seems anything like a big city. It is easy to take in the fresh air, become one with the earth and forget the daily noise, just steps away from the entrance of the garden.
“This is the best idea that has come along,” says Vietnam Veteran Claude Foster. He extends out both arms and takes a deep breath of morning air. “Do you see how quiet it is? No hustle, no bustle, no sirens.”
The Healing Garden is on an acre of land nestled inside the 40-acre Kohl Farm, providing a serene escape from reality, fresh air and good, old-fashioned manual labor. Counselors from the Milwaukee Vet Center, located at 7910 N. 76th Street, were searching for ways Veterans could unwind and recover from life’s stresses. The Miwaukee Vet Center came up with the Healing Garden to help Veterans cope with post-traumatic stress, depression and other mental health issues. Veterans and wheelchairs even have access to a raised bed garden. Read more...
Healing Veterans Using Water Therapy
The VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System is expanding partnerships within the community to use local resources not available at the VA to provide health and wellness alternatives Veterans.
Pool therapy is an exercise alternative designed to increase flexibility and mobility while keeping joint impact to a minimum. One recent VASNHS initiative is taking advantage of the Las Vegas-area YMCA’s water exercise classes. Held at the YMCA’s Centennial Hills Community Center and the Sky View YMCA indoor pools, Veterans can take advantage of four high energy low-impact classes. Read more...
Check-in Kiosks Increase Convenience
Veterans at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center can now use new technology to check-in for scheduled appointments and manage their personal information. Recently updated VetLink kiosks are currently in use at Houston VA Medical Center and all nine of the Houston-area Community Based Outpatient Clinics.
Veterans can use the VetLink kiosks for a number of functions, including checking in for previously scheduled medical appointments, updating their demographic and contact information, viewing their account balance information, and updating their insurance information. These kiosks will help reduce the Veteran’s wait time and allow the Veteran to get started with their appointments faster. Read more...