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Quality of Care

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Your VA

One of VA's ongoing missions is to provide a positive health care experience for all Veterans. That mission includes focusing on Veterans' needs, working with health care providers who want to make a difference, and providing a safe healing environment.

Below are some stories from both Veterans and VA health care providers that illustrate the many ways VA is committed to creating a positive health care experience:

Dr. Robert Friedman, an Army Veteran, uses Chinese pulse diagnosis to determine deficiencies or excesses in a patient’s energy in order to guide acupuncture treatment. The technique is well over 2,000 years old. McGuire chef and Air Force Veteran, Alvin Ruiz prepares a stuffed chicken breast for the diabetic cooking class he teaches at Richmond VAMC. The class meets once a month and provides education, tips and support for Veterans who are diabetic or pre-diabetic.

Healthcare with Flavor

When Veterans come to McGuire for their healthcare a normal “menu” of services they would expect is primary care, pharmacy and maybe some lab work. But a group of Veterans in the shared medical appointment at the Diabetes Health Center has grilled chicken stuffed with spinach and mozzarella and a balsamic dressing on the side.

The group is diabetic Veterans that are taking part in a monthly educational class that teaches them about food, and what part it plays in managing their diabetes and health. The class was developed and organized by McGuire dietician Michele Bedwell.

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George Xenakis, DPT, and Korean War Veteran Victor Ferentino
George Xenakis, DPT, and Korean War Veteran Victor Ferentino

Embracing Life

Running has been a passion for Victor Ferentino, 81, an Army Airborne Korean War Veteran.   For 60 years, his exercise routine has involved running three to five times a week for at least 40 minutes.  A year ago, he had an accident while jogging on Houston Street in Manhattan. "My leg gave out and I went flying."  Following this incident, Ferentino found he had trouble walking and suffered pain in his left knee.

Unwilling to give in to pain, he persevered, running for a month until the pain became so severe he then consulted an orthopedic surgeon.  The physician took X-rays and diagnosed advanced bilateral knee arthritis and recommended surgery.

But Ferentino, a retired architect who also ran a company importing wines from Italy and France before retirement,  always researched problems, wanting to learn as much as possible in order to make an informed decision.  And so, he consulted two other orthopedists who also recommended surgery."I like to know all about my condition and options before deciding on treatment.”

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