National Center for Healthcare Advancement and Partnerships
OCE Partnership Impact
VHA Office of Community Engagement to highlight Choose Home Initiative at Aging in America Conference
Two federal agencies working to support the needs of older Veterans will share their expertise at the American Society on Aging’s annual Aging in America Conference on March 24, 2020. This is the largest multidisciplinary conference covering issues of aging and quality of life for older adults. Representatives from the Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA’s) Office of Community Engagement (OCE) and the Administration on Community Living (ACL) will share the stage.
Dr. Tracy Weistreich, acting director of OCE, and OCE Health System Specialist Dr. Jamie Davis will co-present with ACL Office of Interagency Innovations Director Lori Gerhard. This 90-minute session will touch on this year’s conference theme, “Aging 2020: Examining the Needs of Today’s Diverse Older Adults.” Most importantly, this group will discuss how their agencies work together to serve Veterans.
ACL is one of the agencies working alongside VHA within VA’s Choose Home Initiative. The initiative is focused on giving Veterans at risk for institutionalization a choice in where they receive their care. Choose Home’s efforts augment existing VA and VHA models and programs to help Veterans receive coordinated case management and other services that help Veterans stay in their communities or homes.
ACL, part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, works to help older adults and people living with disabilities live wherever they choose. Both VHA and ACL have established processes and tools to identify patients at risk for institutionalization and help make them aware of options to remain in the community. Together they expand each organization’s capabilities and networks.
ACL-supported community agencies can refer Veterans not receiving VA services to their local VA medical centers. There, Veterans will learn about their eligibility for benefits and medical coverage. Likewise, VA may also provide a referral for Veterans to ACL’s Aging and Disability Network Agencies in communities when they are ineligible for VA benefits or if VHA does not offer certain services. This may connect Veterans to services, such as transportation or meals, that can foster independence.
“Ultimately, the results of this collaboration reach more Veterans to match them with resources to help them choose home,” said Dr. Tracy Weistreich. “We are excited to share what VA and ACL have learned by working together, in service of Veterans.”
The presentation will educate attendees on how they can engage in the Choose Home Initiative. It will include an open discussion about lessons learned, opportunities for nonmonetary partnerships within VHA and VA, and ways existing programs can fill in gaps to better serve Veterans.
OCE supports other programs and partnerships that provide direct support to older Veterans and their families, caregivers, and survivors, such as Veterans Community Partnerships and the Aging Veterans and Mental Health Interagency Partnership.
Posted March 03, 2020