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.
Historic Home Becomes Home to Our Nation's Heroes
BOSTON, Mass. — Building on President Obama’s commitment to end Veteran Homelessness, the Veterans Administration announced today the opening of the Howard House, the result of a successful public private partnership in Massachusetts to create affordable housing for Veterans.
The Howard House, built in 1944, was once a home for the aged. Now this two-story brick home boasts 14 beautiful and modern efficiency apartments co-located with the Brockton VAMC giving resident Veterans easy access to services and medical care. Read more...
Home-based tele-mental health benefits Veterans
Home-based tele-mental health care for depression is well received by patients and delivers as good a quality of life as in-person visits, according to the results of a clinical trial in 241 depressed elderly Veterans reported in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry by investigators at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center (VAMC) and the Medical University of South Carolina.
Depression affects 10 percent of Americans and is a leading cause of disability and mortality. And yet, only an estimated 56 percent of patients with depression seek treatment. Barriers to treatment include mobility issues (especially in the elderly), transportation costs, missed days of work, geographic isolation, and fear of the associated stigma. By overcoming some of those barriers, tele-mental health could improve access to care for these patients. Read more...
Enhanced Technology Empowers Veterans
Imagine being able to call for a nurse, adjust your bed, manage lighting, open a door, make a phone or video call, use social media and control the television using only your eyes or by puffing on a straw. These tasks may seem simple but for a Veteran with a severe disability, these everyday tasks may be nearly impossible without assistance.
When Fran McClellan, Rehab Program Manager for Spinal Cord Injury at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center learned about a Veterans Health Administration Innovation called the Advanced Environmental Controls (AEC) unit, she knew she had to investigate further. She learned that the AEC would enable injured Veterans to perform many important tasks independently, and that it could be obtained through the VHA Innovation Program. Read more...
Spokane VA Anesthetist is a Shining Example
VA Nurse Anesthetist John Givens has just earned a promotion, 20-plus years in the making. “I have the best job in Spokane,” says the husband and father of two, who chose to forfeit the higher salary he could be earning in the private sector, to proudly serve military Veterans enrolled in the nation’s VA health care system.
As a CRNA, John Givens has become a key member of the medical surgical team at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center since 2010. “John is always looking to improve efficiencies and the Veterans’ experience. Everybody loves his enthusiasm, from leadership on down to the housekeepers who keep the operating rooms sterile and functional,” said Dr. Wayne Gerard, Chief of Surgery. To Givens, the accolades and support are the result of a persistent drive to ensure his faith guides success for himself and others. In December, Givens stood before family, close friends, and medical center leadership as his wife Deb pinned on his Navy Captain insignia during a reception that followed the reaffirmation of his Military Officer’s oath and promotion to Captain in the U.S. Navy Reserves. Read more...
Open Art Studio is Creative Environment for Vets
Every Monday, except on federal holidays, the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center holds an Open Art Studio from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the auditorium.
The program is open to all enrolled Veterans and is an opportunity for Veterans to create art of their choice and socialize with other Veteran artists.
“It’s a time when they can come here and visit with other Veterans, share their experiences and their interests in the areas of the arts,” said Deborah Moreno, a recreation therapist with Inpatient Rehabilitation and Creative Arts Program Manager. “We have people who like playing music, who like to draw and paint, and like to build and work with their hands. It’s a very therapeutic experience for them.” Read more...