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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

Photo of Dr. Gregory Trachiotis, Chief, Cardiothoracic Surgery and Heart Center DirectorDr. Gregory Trachiotis, Chief, Cardiothoracic Surgery and Heart Center Director has used the new therapy in more than 25 patients so far with excellent results.

Resilient Tissue Valve Therapy

The Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center has deployed a new heart valve therapy that is quickly becoming a “game changer” for younger and more active Veterans.

The medical center surgeons are using a new class of biological resilient tissue valve that is a dramatic improvement over traditional bioprosthetic (tissue) valves and mechanical valves for certain patients.

According to Dr. Gregory Trachiotis, Chief, Cardiothoracic Surgery and Heart Center Director at the medical center, the new therapy has been used in over 25 patients so far with excellent results.  “Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center is the first VA in the nation to have used this valve and is an early adopter of sutureless valve.”  Read more...


Southeast

Pictured in photo: Marine Corps Veteran Pierre Williams and Josephine Smith of Saint Petersburg FloridaPictured in photo: Marine Corps Veteran Pierre Williams and Josephine Smith of Saint Petersburg Florida

It Takes a Hero to Ask for Help

He was a young Marine with gunfire all around. Any bullet might be the one that killed him. His job was underground, in the dark, as a tunnel rat, to ferret out any North Vietnamese soldiers. Most didn’t survive the job. There were poisonous snakes and danger around every corner.

He came home to dreams of corpses, burning flesh and post-traumatic stress. With the help of Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Prolonged Exposure Therapy at the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System, Pierre Williams is learning to get past the pain.

Williams suffered from nightmares, intrusive thoughts and flashbacks for years before reaching out for help in 2009 and learning he had post-traumatic stress.  Read more...


Midwest

Employees at Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center participate in a 'Heart Failure Fair'. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Weston A. Mohr)Employees at Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center participate in a 'Heart Failure Fair'. The purpose of the fair was to educate staff on the signs of heart failure, how to prevent it and what steps to take in order to provide the best care to patients. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Weston A. Mohr)

Putting Heart Disease at Ease

A team of dedicated Lovell Federal Health Care Center nurses hopes a new Heart Failure Toolkit will help patients with heart failure live life to the fullest.

The team recently held a resource fair at the North Chicago hospital to kick off the FHCC’s heart failure initiative. While the first fair was targeted at providers who care for patients with heart failure, Sept. 26 will be a day for patients themselves to get the help they need in person.

From 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sept. 26 at the main entrance the FHCC Ambulatory Care Center, Bldg. 133EF, nurses will man displays and answer questions, as well as distribute the new Heart Failure Toolkit to patients and their caregivers.  Read more...


Northwest

Army Veteran, Feet Jensen, gets ready to set sail on East Canyon Reservoir.Army Veteran, Feet Jensen, gets ready to set sail on East Canyon Reservoir.

Setting Sail with TRAILS

VA Salt Lake City Health Care System’s Recreational Therapy program works to restore, improve, and maintain the whole lives of our Veterans, and community partners like the University of Utah Health’s Technology Recreation Access Independence Lifestyle Sports (TRAILS) program help us accomplish this goal.

“The TRAILS program is more than about the sport,” said Dr. Jeffrey Rosenbluth, spinal cord injury medical director. “It is really about the whole experience. Our whole goal is just to get people out and doing the things they want to do. The things they use to do that they haven't done.”  Read more...


Southwest

VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System (VCB) announces start of surgical ophthalmologist services. (U.S. Air Force photo used in this U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs info graphic by Luis H. Loza Gutierrez)VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System (VCB) announces start of surgical ophthalmologist services. (U.S. Air Force photo used in this U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs info graphic by Luis H. Loza Gutierrez)

surgical ophthalmologist service

HARLINGEN, Texas — VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System (VCB) announces the start of surgical ophthalmologist services for Veterans at the Health Care Center at Harlingen.

“We are very pleased to provide this type of service to our Veterans,” said Dr. Jorge Ortegon, VCB chief of medicine. “There’s been a need for this service for some time and we are happy to announce that it is now available here.”

The new services will be headed by Dr. Brian Schallenberg.

As the health care system’s new surgical ophthalmologist, Dr. Schallenberg will begin, serving Veterans by performing cataract surgeries on October 10 in VCB’s state-of-the-art facility located inside the VA Health Care Center at Harlingen, Texas.   Read more...