National Center for Healthcare Advancement and Partnerships
HAP Partnership Impact
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) brings Veterans many resources and helpful services for health care conditions, and partners with nongovernmental organizations to add to those resources and services and reach Veterans who do not access their care at VA. Within VA, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) National Center for Healthcare Advancement and Partnerships (HAP, formerly the Office of Community Engagement) supports such partnerships. An in-development partnership between the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Arthritis Foundation (AF) will help Veterans diagnosed with arthritis and bring them greater access to information and care for the condition.
Arthritis is the United States’ number-one cause of disability and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three Veterans is diagnosed with the condition, which affects the movement of joints and tissues. Arthritis can be very painful. VA already offers support to Veterans diagnosed with arthritis through primary care, rheumatology, and health care and treatment research done by its Office of Research and Development, and this partnership with AF will increase supportive services available to Veterans, their families, caregivers and survivors.
AF helps people with arthritis live well by connecting them to a network of support as well as education information about arthritis. The foundation has a mission to pursue a cure for arthritis and helps fight it with “life-changing science, resources, advocacy, and community connections.” The foundation has online resources on topics like self-managing arthritis, creating a diet plan that can help reduce swelling, and ways to manage pain.
This partnership will bring Veterans education and support to help them with the physical and emotional challenges of living with arthritis; the partners will also learn more about Veterans’ needs through questionnaires. Through this partnership, Veterans will also have free access to AF’s “Live Yes!” online community, where they can connect with other people living with the condition.
“We know how pain can be prevalent and pervasive in a person’s life, and the Arthritis Foundation is thankful that this partnership will reach thousands of Veterans each year who need assistance and resources to battle their chronic pain,” said Steve Taylor, executive vice present of AF. “We look forward to working alongside VHA on delivering our network of support to those Veterans who suffer from the various forms of arthritis.”
Georgeanna Bady, HAP health systems specialist, oversees this developing partnership and said she looks forward to how it will help Veterans live their best lives.
“Living with arthritis presents specific challenges that most people might not be aware of—if a Veteran can’t open jars or tie their shoes due to pain, they’re not able to be fully independent. Partnerships like the one with AF will bring Veterans and their support networks more information on how to manage living with arthritis and will also help them feel less isolated if they connect online with other people,” she said.
For more information on HAP partnerships, please visit va.gov/healthpartnerships.
Posted July 01, 2021