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Quality of Care

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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.

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Northeast

Marine Corps Veteran Jose Adames and Psychologist Dr. Lisa GettingsMarine Corps Veteran Jose Adames and Psychologist Dr. Lisa Gettings

Bottled Up Emotions & Blackouts

No question, back from war, blackouts undermine reintegration and positive communications. Marine Corps Veteran Jose Adames, served three tours in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2006. Approaching his 36th birthday, he is open about his struggles not only with blackouts, but with other physical and psychological symptoms of his PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury. Life seemed bleak and frustrating at almost every turn until, about a year ago, when he started working with Psychology Fellow Dr. Lisa Gettings. They approached his issues with Cognitive Processing Therapy.   Read more...


Southeast

Veteran Daniel Glanz shows off the new prosthetic hand, an iLimb Quantum, which he received at McGuire VA Medical Center. Photo by Jason Miller Veteran Daniel Glanz shows off the new prosthetic hand, an iLimb Quantum, which he received at McGuire VA Medical Center. Photo by Jason Miller

Veteran Receives High-tech Prosthetic Hand

Veteran Daniel Glanz lost his right hand while serving in Afghanistan 12 years ago. Today, Glanz has a brand new prosthetic hand with world-class technology which gives him the ability to adjust hand functions on the fly in ways that were not possible in the past.

For the past 10 years, Glanz has been coming to McGuire VA Medical Center to receive the latest in prosthetic hand technology. This past spring, he was fitted for an iLimb Quantum prosthetic hand, which is programmable with a smartphone app and can change functions with a simple gesture.   Read more...


Midwest

Green plant growing in rocky terrainThe VA has led the way in reducing the use of long term pain medication by 41% and moving Veterans to safer, better alternatives for managing long term pain.

Many Find Pain Relief in Healthier Alternatives

Pain is a difficult topic. Seeing someone or hearing about someone in pain generates an immediate response in many people. It would be awesome if there was a magic or instant solution to help relieve that pain. For many years, it was believed pain medication (such as Opioids) were the answer. However, in the last few years, increasing evidence of the harmful effects of long term opioid use and the lack of evidence supporting long term benefits has prompted a re-evaluation in the approach to chronic pain management.

“Our goal is safety,” said Dr. Ireneo Diaz Jr., M.D., Associate Chief of Staff for Medical Service. Studies have shown that pain medication like opioids are good for short term acute pain, but not the best way to manage chronic (or long term pain). Diaz said, “It is important that patients engage with their providers to discuss which alternatives to pain medication may be best for them.”  Read more...


Northwest

Stand Down 2017Stand Down 2017

30 Years of Medical Care at Stand Down

In its 30 years of operation, the San Diego Stand Down has reached many thousands of homeless Veterans and their families living in the area to provide basic needs during the summer. VA San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS) is a founding member of the Stand Down initiative in San Diego and their medical team has organized and staffed the medical tent every year since the beginning.

“We started the first medical tent and continue to provide treatment to this day,” said Dr. Robert Smith, VASDHS medical director. “Though only for a few days, we want to ensure during those days that homeless Veterans not only get the immediate medical care they need but also resources for getting back on their feet.”   Read more...


Southwest

Beaumont VA Staff Continue to Serve VeteransBeaumont VA Staff Continue to Serve Veterans

Beaumont VA Staff Continue to Serve Veterans

VA’s Beaumont Outpatient Clinic has been closed for several days since Harvey landed due to heavy local flooding and road closures. But that has not stopped VA clinic staff from their mission of taking care of Veterans.  Beaumont VA Social Worker Angela Rutledge and Peer Support Specialist Sheila Criddell have been volunteering their time at the Red Cross Shelter in Lumberton, Texas, where they are assisting Veterans displaced and staying at the shelter.   Read more...