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The Bulldog

The Bulldog is VA Long Beach Healthcare System health education classes catalog.

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Whole Health and Wellness

Learn more about VA’s Whole Health approach to Veteran care and how you can get started on your Whole Health journey at VA Long Beach.

1st Wednesday of every month: 10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. 
2nd Thursday of every month: 1 - 2:30 p.m. 
4th Tuesday of every month: 9 - 10:30 a.m. 
Virtual or in-person

To enroll: contact Aarin Bowen at 562-826-8000, ext. 1-3210

What matters most to you? Meet with a Health Coach to develop a Personalized Health Inventory (PHI) and begin your pathway to a healthier you.

Date/time varies, virtual or in-person

To enroll: contact Aarin Bowen at 562-826-8000, ext. 1-3210 or ask your provider to place a "Whole Health Coaching" consult 

Install VA FREE Live Whole Health App on your mobile.. Available though App Store or Google Play. 

A 9-week group focused on exploring what matters most to you in your life, setting goals, and developing a personal health plan to achieve your goals.

Tuesdays, 9:30 - 10:30 a.m., virtual or in-person

To enroll: contact Aarin Bowen at 562-826-8000, ext. 1-3210

A 14-week group for Veterans utilizing a holistic approach to health and well-being, including instruction, creative arts activities, community building, and group support.

Wednesdays 9:30 –11:30 a.m., virtual 
Women’s only group. Men’s only group coming soon!


To enroll: contact Aarin Bowen at 562-826-8000 ext. 1-3210 Virtua

Gateway focuses on what is most important to you. It gives you skills to manage roadblocks, change routines, commit to changes, and create realistic goals.

1st Thursday of every month, 10 - 11:30 a.m. 

To enroll: call Dr. Ung 562-269-9488 or call in! 1-404-397-1596, entry code 1991681871##

Yoga

A 60-minute class for Veterans wanting to learn and practice gentle yoga.

Mondays, 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.
Wednesdays, 3 - 4 p.m.
Thursdays (Women Only), 3 - 4 p.m.
Fridays, 9 - 10 p.m. 

To enroll: request consult from your primary care team.

Healthy Cooking

Join us for a VA Video Connect hands-on cooking class!
Increase your skills in the kitchen while learning to making healthy meals.
Women-only cohorts available.

To enroll: Call Nutrition Dept. at 562-826-8000, ext. 1-6571 or 1-2045

Point of Contact: Kristen Wood, MS, RD 

Primary Care

For healthier eating habits, weight loss or to lower blood sugar and triglycerides. Learn to identify and count carbs and use better choices for high carb items. Taught by a Diabetes Nurse Practitioner.

First two Mondays of the month at 2 p.m., one-hour sessions, VA Video Connect
Dates may vary due to holidays, etc.

To enroll (required): contact Maxine Dillard at 562-826-8000, ext. 1-4303

 

For Veterans with Pre-Diabetes. Includes your diabetes related blood tests and proven ways to prevent or at least delay getting Type 2 Diabetes. Taught by a Diabetes Nurse Practitioner.

Last two Mondays of the month at 2 p.m., one-hour sessions, VA Video Connect
Dates may vary due to holidays, etc.

To enroll (required): contact Maxine Dillard at 562-826-8000, ext. 1-4303

For Veterans with Diabetes. Includes your diabetes related blood tests, what to eat, when to move, and how to take pills and insulin to lower your sugar. Taught by a Diabetes Nurse Practitioner.

First four Tuesdays of the month at 2 p.m., one-hour sessions, VA Video Connect
Dates may vary due to holidays, etc.

To enroll (required): contact Maxine Dillard at 562-826-8000, ext. 1-4303

Managing difficulty with motivation for lifestyle changes, and distress that is common among people who have diabetes. Now that this class is virtual, Veterans from any VA Long Beach location can enroll!

Mondays 11 a.m. - 12 p.m., 6 weeks, VA Video Connect

To enroll: Ask provider for consult or call Dr. Sonika Ung at 562-269-9488.

Sleep

A 90-minute class for Veterans wanting to learn ways to improve their sleep. This class is required before enrolling in Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I).

4th Monday, 1 - 2:30 p.m.
2nd Tuesday, 9:30 – 11 a.m.
2nd Thursday, 10 - 11:30 a.m. 
3rd Friday, 1 - 2:30 p.m. 

To enroll: Ask your Primary Care Provider (PCP) for a consult 

Install VA FREE Insomnia Coach App on your mobile. Available though App Store or Google Play. 

Sleep Education Class (above) is required before enrolling. This is a 6-week group therapy to manage insomnia.

Dates/times of group appointments vary

To enroll: By consult only. Please contact your provider.

Install VA FREE CBT-i Coach App on your mobile. Available though App Store or Google Play. 

Pain

A two-part class for Veterans wanting to better manage their pain.

1st and 3rd Wednesday, 9 - 11 a.m., VA Video Connect 

To enroll: Call Dr. Caroline Prouvost 714-434-4666

Quitting Tobacco

Phone: 1-855-784-8838
Text: Text VET to 47848
Online: smokefree.gov

Get tips to quit from VA's Tobacco and Health website

Install VA FREE Stay Quit Coach App on your mobile. 
Available though App Store or Google Play. 

Other FREE Apps: QuitGuide and quitSTART

Weight Management

For Veterans wanting to lose weight. This class is required before the 7- week program listed below.

Dates and times vary

To enroll: call 562-826-8000, ext. 1-6571 

For Veterans wanting to lose weight. Please take Move! Weight Management-Introduction before enrolling in this class.

Dates and times vary, one class per week, 7-weeks

To enroll: call 562-826-8000, ext. 1-6571

Install VA FREE MOVE! Coach App on your mobile. 
Available though App Store or Google Play. 

Stress Management and Relaxation

6- weeks long. For Veterans seeking ideas and help with stress management and relaxation. Now that we are virtual, Veterans from any VA Long Beach location can enroll!

Tuesdays, 9:30 – 11 a.m. (Long Beach, currently virtual)
Wednesdays, 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (Santa Ana, currently virtual)

To enroll: request consult from provider or call Dr. Sonika Ung at 562-269-9488

Install VA FREE Mindfulness Coach App on your mobile. Available though App Store or Google Play. 

Join to practice relaxation and meditation exercises.

Thursdays, 11 - 11:50 a.m., VA Video Connect

To enroll: Contact Dr. Huang at 562-826-8000, ext.1-4384

For Veterans to learn a technique to calm the mind, reduce unwanted emotions. For more information call Gina DeOcampo, RN CCM, at 562-826-5527

Tuesdays, times vary, 6-weeks long.

To enroll: Ask provider to place a consult (location: Primary Care → PC Behavioral Health → Mantram Repetition for Relaxation

For Veterans to learn a technique to calm the mind and handle stressful situations better. While virtual, Veterans from any VA Long Beach location can enroll!

Tuesdays, 3 - 4 p.m. Dates vary, 7-weeks long, VA Video Connect

To enroll: call Dr. Messinides 562-826-8000, ext. 13218

Mental Health

For Veterans who have experienced loss of a loved one by helping Veterans find healthy ways to honor and incorporate grief in their lives.

1st and 3rd Thursdays, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m., VA Video Connect

To enroll: call Dr. Savana Krysiak 928-830-8811

Learn sitting meditation techniques to help relieve stress, anxiety, depression, and/or pain.

2 nd and 4th Thursdays, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m., VA Video Connect

To enroll: call Dr. Savana Krysiak 928-830-8811

Install VA FREE Mindfulness Coach App on your mobile. Available though App Store or Google Play. 

For Veterans currently in treatment in the Outpatient Mental Health Clinic only. MBSR is an intensive, experiential introduction to mindfulness meditation. Joining requires a commitment to attend all sessions and to practice mindfulness meditation at home for 45 minutes to one hour daily.

Fridays, 8 a.m. - 10:50 a.m., 10 weeks long, 1 all day session, VA Video Connect

To enroll: ask your Mental Health Provider to place a BHIP Psychotherapy Consult for “BHIP MBSR group with Dr. Fayazmanesh”

Veterans who identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and who are interested in addressing issues of race-based stress, trauma, resilience, and empowerment.

Tuesdays, 3 - 4 p.m., 10-session series, start dates vary, VA Video Connect

To enroll: ask your mental health provider to add Dr. Liz Welsh or Burgess Brown, Peer Support Supervisor to their note

Specialty Program for Veterans with Serious Mental Illness. Individual counseling and 21 groups are offered weekly. Most Veterans attend 3-5 days per week, but time spent varies.

Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Bldg. 128, Room L209

To enroll: Ask your provider for a consult
Call 562-826-8000, ext. 1-5602 for more information

Install FREE SCI Adviser App on your mobile. Available though App Store or Google Play. 

For Veterans who could benefit from coping skills in a supportive group therapy setting while awaiting mental health consult appointments.

Tuesdays, 10 a.m., 12 weeks
In-person, masks required, Bldg. 128, 2nd floor, J-218

To enroll: Ask your health care provider to add Dr. Wesley Cook to note

Posttraumatic Stress Resources

Each program offers many different groups, including some that are late afternoon, on topics that help Veterans address combat related trauma reactions.

Dates and times vary

To enroll: Veterans may ask for a referral by their provider to the Combat PTSD Team.

A group for women Veterans with combat-related stressors to 1) Give and receive support 2) Proactively cope with stress and transition back to the civilian world.

Mondays, 4:30 - 6 p.m., VA Video Connect

To enroll: Ask your provider to add Dr. Jessica Naughton as cosigner.

A support group for all military medical personnel.

Tuesdays, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m., VA Video Connect

To enroll: Contact Dr. Larry Albers at ext. 1-2150

For patients currently in treatment in the Combat PTSD Program in Mental Health only. MBSR is an intensive, experiential introduction to mindfulness meditation. Requires a commitment to daily 45–60-minute practice.

Fridays, 1 - 3:50 p.m., 10 weeks long, 1 all day session, VA Video Connect

To enroll: ask your Mental Health Provider in Combat PTSD to place a BHIP Psychotherapy Consult for “PTSD MBSR group with Dr. Fayazmanesh

For Veterans currently enrolled at the Santa Ana VA Clinic. Veteran will need to be screened first by the group provider.

Tuesdays, 8:30 - 10 a.m., Cisco Webex Video platform

To enroll: Ask provider to add Dr. Juliet Hung as cosigner.
Providers: do not place a “San Psychology” consult

PTSD Coach

PTSD Family Coach

AIMS for Anger Management

Beyond MST

Available though App Store or Google Play. 

Substance Use

Learn strategies to manage cravings and thoughts of using. Develop ways to cope with stress and reduce risk of relapse. Improve communication and assertiveness. Increase social support

Fridays, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. 

To enroll: Call Emma Martin, RN or Ricardo Restrepo-Guzman, MD 562-826-8000, ext.1-4344 or ext.1-4881

For Veterans who want to learn skills to reduce or quit drinking or other substance use

Thursdays, 10 - 11 a.m., VA Video Connect

To enroll: Call Randy Young 562-826-8000, ext.1-4338

For Veterans and community members. No referral or appointment needed.

Tuesdays, 7:30 p.m.

To enroll: Call Substance Use Treatment Program (SATP) 562-826-8000, ext. 1-5610

For Veterans and community members. No referral or appointment needed.

Thursdays, 7:30 p.m. 

To enroll: Call Substance Use Treatment Program (SATP) 562-826-8000, ext. 1-5610

To enroll: Call Substance Use Treatment Program (SATP) 562-826-8000, ext. 1-5610

All patients on Suboxone maintenance.

Tuesdays, 2 - 3 p.m.
Thursdays, 5 - 6 p.m. 

To enroll: call Theodore Jones/Emma Martin RN ext. 1-4881

Install VA FREE VetChange App on your mobile. Available though App Store or Google Play. 

Veterans Health Library

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

VHA National Center for PTSD

 

Women’s Mental Health Clinic

The Women’s Mental Health Clinic (WMHC) offers gender-specific, sensitive care.

Veterans can be connected to WMHC by the Urgent Mental Health Clinic or with a consult from their provider or prescriber.

Groups Include: 

  • Healthy Relationships
  • Happiness & HOPE 
  • Mind Freedom
  • Managing Emotions
  • Skills Training in Affective & Interpersonal Regulation (STAIR)
  • Trauma Skills
  • Race & Resilience

Inner City Law Center is a legal partner with the Women’s Mental Health Clinic and can provide additional services. 

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Assistance Program

Designed to help male Veterans and service members of any conflict era improve their anger management skills and prevent arguments and conflict in intimate relationships.

Dates/times vary, 12-weeks, VA Video Connect

To enroll: contact Danielle Daniels 562-632-2620

Our mission is to implement a comprehensive person centered, recovery-oriented assistance program for Veterans, their families and Caregivers and VHA employees who use or experience intimate partner violence.

Women: Tuesdays, 1 - 3 p.m., VA Video Connect
Men: Thursdays, 1 - 3 p.m., VA Video Connect

To enroll: contact Danielle Daniels 562-632-2620

National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
24/7 confidential support, local referrals, safety planning, housing options, & legal resources.

National Sexual Assault Hotline
1-800-656-HOPE (4673)

National Center for PTSD
802-296-6300

VA Mental Health
800-273-8255

Women’s Health
855-VA-WOMEN

LA County Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-978-3600

LA County Human Services Hotline
Dial “211” (24/7, bilingual)

Women’s Shelter of Long Beach Hotline
1-562-437-HOME (4663)

For more information about IPV, call IPVAP Coordinator Danielle Daniels, MPA, LCSW, 562-632-2620

Women’s Health Services

Improve your physical & mental well-being in an all-Female group class, learning via group discussions, Tai-Chi, Physical Activity, & Mindfulness.

Thursdays, 1 - 2:30 p.m., 12-week program, Building 46, Child Development Center –North

To enroll: Ask your provider to place a “PM&R Kinesiotherapy Women Owning Wellness Consult”
For more information, please call Gladys Yu at 562-966-2875

Memory and Concentration Skills

A three-part series for aging Veterans. Learn ways to improve memory, concentration, and organizational abilities. Learn how to keep your brain healthy as you age and reduce risk factors for cognitive impairment.

Select Mondays, 1 - 3 p.m., Connect virtually or dial in

To enroll: Contact Dr. Lauren Dill at 562-826-8000, ext.1-4716

A four-part series for dementia caregivers. Educational series led by geriatrician, psychologist, social worker, and nurse. Topics include the medical care of dementia, hygiene, safety tips, behavioral management, communication, caregiver burden, resource utilization, and future planning.

Select Mondays, 10:30 –12:30 p.m., Connect virtually or dial in

To enroll: Contact Dr. Lauren Dill at 562-826-8000 ext.1-4716

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be a lonely and painful process. This is a safe place for caregivers to support each other and learn more about resources and interventions.

Bi-monthly on Fridays, 1 - 2 p.m.
Cisco Webex Video platform

To enroll contact Andrea Dawkins, LCSW at 562-826-8000 ext. 15735

Speech Pathology

Weekly support group for Veterans recovering from stroke.

Wednesdays, 10 - 11 a.m., VA Video Connect

To enroll: Ask your provider for a referral to Speech Pathology.
For more information call 562-826- 8000, ext. 1-3280

A monthly maintenance group for those who have completed the LSVT LOUD Program.

Held monthly, time/dates vary, VA Video Connect

Ask your provider for a referral to Speech Pathology. For more info: Call 562-826-5415

Caregiver Support Resources

An ongoing support group for official VA caregivers enrolled in the Family Caregiver Support Program and caring for Veterans with mental health needs. Helps caregivers learn about mental health issues, identify ways to support loved ones, and practice self-care.

Contact the Family Caregiver Support Program for information:

(Kristy) Phuong Khanh Le, LCSW
Family Caregiver Support Program Coordinator
562-967-0211

Approved family caregivers may ask their Family Caregiver Support Program social worker for a consult.

Resources for Enhancing All Caregivers Health is a structured approach to address challenges faced by caregivers of Veteran with ALS, Dementia, MS, PTSD, SCID. Reach out if you are interested in individual coaching to learn valuable skills such as problem solving, stress management, positive thinking, and find time to care for you as well.

Dates & times of appointments vary

For more information or to enroll: Contact Kristy Kleiman 562-583-5558

Resources for Enhancing All Caregivers Health  teaches valuable skills throughout 6 bi-monthly sessions including:

  1. Taking Care of Yourself
  2. Problem Solving
  3. Mood Management
  4. Asking for Help
  5. Stress Management

Dates & times of appointments vary

For more information or to enroll: Contact Kristy Kleiman 562-583-5558

Creative Arts and Humanities

For all Long Beach Veterans interested in Photography. Presentations and workshops "Seeing the World Creatively"

Wednesdays and Fridays at 3 p.m., Virtual

To enroll: contact Linda Hicks at hickslin@yahoo.com

Share stories (writing, photography, video, etc.) with fellow Veterans and create a story about a "challenge" from your life that may help others.

90 minutes, dates/times vary, group or Individual
Virtual - Requires a computer with WiFi

To enroll: contact Aarin Bowen at 562-826-8000, ext. 1-3210 or ask your provider to place a consult for “Story Corps-VCAW”

For all Long Beach Veterans interested in exploring their creative side through the arts, utilizing different mediums, and finding connections through creating together.

Mondays, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m., Virtual and/or socially distanced

To enroll: contact Aarin Bowen at 562-826-8000, ext. 1-3210 or ask your provider to place a consult for “Operation Art-Virtual”

From interviews conducted by peer Veterans and recorded on smartphones, the Veteran reconstructs their story from the perspective of serving fellow Veterans along their individual paths.

Dates/times vary
Virtual platform to be determined

To enroll: contact Burgess Brown at 562-477-7797

While not part of the VA, Help Heal Veterans is an organization that provides craft kits to Veterans

Peer Support Resources

A self- motivation group to cultivate a positive mindset, build optimism and resilience in a supportive atmosphere.

Tuesdays, 9 - 10:30 a.m., 90 minutes, VA Video Connect

To enroll: contact Marilse Palma at Marilse.Palma@va.gov or 562-335-8983

For Veterans that would like to connect and socialize with other Veterans

Fridays, 10 - 11:30 a.m., VA Video Connect

To enroll: contact Burgess Brown at 562-713-5829

For Veterans to connect and share some inspiring stories. Fun, friendship & refreshments included. Books provided.

3rd Tuesday at 2 p.m.

To enroll: contact Jeanine.McGuinness@VA.gov or 562-355-5445

The course is designed to provide an overview of the fundamentals, principles, and practice of mindfulness and meditation. The overall objective is to find ways to live a happier, be more present, more mindful and live a peaceful life. 

Thursdays at 1 p.m., 4-weeks, virtual only 

To enroll: contact Burgess Brown 562-713-5829 or burgess.brown@va.gov

Veterans Benefits

Learn more about VA Disability Compensation and Pension Benefits. Anyone is welcome to join.

Join on the 4th Monday of the month via WebEx 
Meeting number (access code): 2762 041 8530
Meeting password: RQa4hpc8a*2

College Support Resources

A series of classes that teach the study skills needed to succeed in college: reading, note-taking, time management, essay writing, studying, and test taking

To enroll: Ask your provider for a referral to Speech Pathology for College Connection.

Call 562-826-5415  for more information