What's New at Your VA? - 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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Army Veteran, Mr. Robert Hofmann, one of our first cataract surgery patients. Photo by: Christopher LemkeArmy Veteran, Mr. Robert Hofmann, one of our first cataract surgery patients. Photo by: Christopher Lemke


ALTOONA- On Wednesday, September 25, 2019, the James E. Van Zandt VA Medical Center added cataract surgery to the growing list of services it offers local Veterans. This new service is the first time the Altoona VA has stood up a fully sterile operating room in more than a decade.

Four Veterans signed up to be the first to undergo the procedure, all with successful outcomes.

One of the patients is Army Veteran, Mr. Robert Hofmann, who served in Korea from 1964-1967. As a Rifleman in Korea, Hofmann was trained as a Forward Observer. “At the time, I don’t think I fully understood the life expectancy of a Forward Observer,” said Hofmann.  Read more...


Before and after picture of Army Veteran Sherri Lipson (left is before she lost 70 pounds and right is after losing 70 pounds on VA's MOVE program)As a pre-diabetic on high blood pressure medication, U.S. Army Veteran Sherri Lipson wanted to lead a healthier lifestyle. She lost 70 pounds with the help of West Palm Beach VA Medical Center's MOVE! Program. Photos courtesy of Sherri Lipson.

VA's MOVE Program Helps Woman Lose 70 Pounds

West Palm Beach, Fla. – Nine months ago, U.S. Army Veteran Sherri Lipson opened an email that would change her life.

As a pre-diabetic who was also on medication to control her high blood pressure, Lipson wanted to lead a healthier lifestyle. She just didn’t know where to begin until she discovered VA’s MOVE! Weight Management Program for Veterans.

“I received an e-mail from the VA about the MOVE! Program and decided to try it,” Lipson explained. “I lost six pounds in the first week!”

After her first 12 sessions at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center, Lipson was hooked. By the end of week 12 she had lost a total of 30 pounds.  Read more...


Pharmacy staff stand in front of the robot that is used to dispense medications for prescription orders.  Pharmacy staff stand in front of the robot that is used to dispense medications for prescription orders.

Know Your Pharmacist—Know Your Medicine

October is American Pharmacists Month and the Cincinnati VA Medical Center (VAMC) celebrates the services you receive from your pharmacist specialists.

Pharmacists have an important role educating Veterans as integral members of the healthcare team. The fact is, the more you interact with your pharmacist, the more you will know about your medications.

“When I was first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, my doctor put me on metformin, and I didn’t know much about it. I thought this new medication was going to make me feel funny and when I asked questions about how it worked, I felt better about taking it. I knew what possible side-effect might be and had a plan if I experienced anything, I wasn’t sure about,” said the U.S. Marine Veteran.  Read more...


Picture of Army Veteran Tony Fife-Patterson with a VA health care worker in front of Truman VA faciltyTony was able to go tobacco-free and so can you! Set your quit date today!

Thinking About Quitting Tobacco?

United States Army Veteran Tony Fife-Patterson started smoking when he was 17 because “the cool guys in the neighborhood were doing it, and I wanted to fit in.” Eventually, he settled in to a pack a day habit, and never considered he might be addicted to nicotine. Occasionally someone would tell him he ought to quit, but it only made him want to smoke more.

A couple of years ago, Tony’s daughter called him about his 5-year-old grandson who was crying after watching a “Truth Ad” on television, part of a national campaign to eliminate teen smoking. Tony’s grandson never liked how smoking made Tony smell, but the advertisement made him worried about how smoking could hurt his grandfather’s health.   Read more...


VA patient undergoing a Robotic Knee Surgery Houston VA doctors are thrilled to be able to use this state-of-the-art technology to improve recovery time for Veterans with limited mobility who are often in a great deal of pain.

Precise Robotic Knee Surgery Fast-Tracks Recovery

New robotic technology at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston is ensuring Veterans undergoing knee replacement surgeries experience less pain and recover faster.

Last week, David M. Green, M.D., M.S. and Melvyn A. Harrington, Jr., M.D., orthopedic surgeons at the Houston VA, performed the VA’s first total knee replacement using the Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted technology.

The patient, a 73-year-old Navy Veteran, is recovering nicely.

“We do more than 400 knee replacements at the Houston VA every year,” said Green, who is also board certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery. “This new technology will allow us to perform these surgeries with even more precision. It allows for more precise bone preparation, less soft tissue injury and potentially a less painful and speedier recovery for our Veterans.”  Read more...