OCE Partnership Impact - National Center for Healthcare Advancement and Partnerships
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OCE Partnership Impact

Potential VHA partnership would improve social connection for Veterans diagnosed with arthritis

Living with arthritis can be challenging. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 54 million Americans live with the condition, known for causing pain and stiffness in the body due to inflamed joints. Statistics from the CDC also indicate that arthritis is more common in Veterans: Approximately 35% of Veterans have been diagnosed with arthritis.

A developing partnership between the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and the Arthritis Foundation aims to help Veterans, their families, caregivers, and survivors diagnosed with arthritis by providing them with the education and resources needed to navigate the challenges of daily life. The in-development partnership will also help these groups gain a better understanding of the benefits available to them and will connect them to assistance.

The Arthritis Foundation is a nonprofit organization that champions the fight against arthritis with life-changing resources, science, advocacy, and community connections. It also empowers people to virtually connect with others. The resources the foundation will bring to this partnership will augment the services and research that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is already making available about arthritis.

During the coronavirus pandemic, the Arthritis Foundation has compiled several online resources that are accessible to Veterans diagnosed with arthritis. Their Care & Connect page includes links to the latest COVID-19 news, tips for staying healthy, and resources for navigating the new normal during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these resources help improve a Veteran’s social connection, which is considered a social determinant of health (SDOH). SDOH are conditions in the environments in which Veterans live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.

The developing partnership between VHA and the Arthritis Foundation will be facilitated by VHA’s Office of Community Engagement (OCE). OCE manages numerous partnerships that enable Veterans to receive direct, relevant resources to access health care and that improve access to SDOH for Veterans and improve their health and wellbeing.

“Partnering with the Arthritis Foundation will expand the resources available to Veterans everywhere,” said Dr. Tracy Weistreich, nurse executive for OCE. “We look forward to working with the Arthritis Foundation to care for Veterans, their caregivers, and their families who are battling this chronic disease.”

To learn more about how OCE builds effective partnerships across VHA to support Veterans, visit: https://www.va.gov/HEALTHPARTNERSHIPS/partnerships.asp

External Link Disclaimer: This page contains links that will take you outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs website. VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of the linked websites.

Posted September 18, 2020