As 2021 comes to a close, it is a good time to reflect on all that we have accomplished this past year here at VA Pacific Islands Health Care System.
We started off this year continuing the development of an infrastructure for Telehealth visits. In partnership with other VAs, we have built a robust Telehealth system that helps deliver care in more ways to reach more veterans, which has been an important priority, especially as we’ve navigated through the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year, we also opened the new Windward Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC), a 10,000 square foot facility that will help reach more veterans on the Windward side of the island. We also broke ground on the Advanced Leeward Outpatient Healthcare Access (ALOHA) project, which will be completed in 2023.
Many departments accomplished wonderful things this year:
• The Vocational Rehabilitation Services received a CARF Certification for another 3 years.
• Supply Chain Management supported several great events including the opening of the Windward CBOC, several vaccine events, the CLC Parade, and the groundbreaking at the ALOHA CBOC site.
• System redesign and data analytics was nationally recognized for two HRO projects, received the Start Award for their early adoption of QuiTT, and management a variety of projects which supported operations here at VAPIHCS.
• Social work implemented a Care Coordination and Integrated Case Management system, began implementation of an Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Program, and started a guardianship program.
• CLC had no Veterans contract COVID-19 in the last two years due to diligent precautions.
• Pharmacy had a cost savings of more than one million dollars, and more than four million in cost avoidance. Pharmacy also dispensed more than 23,000 COVID-19 vaccines.
• Mental Health Services published a number of notable papers, did outreach to vaccine-hesitant Veterans, transitioned their PTSD program to all-virtual, and saw the homeless program receive their CARF accreditation with no findings of possible improvement.
• Audiology added new booths at the ACC, the Windward CBOC, and one soon-to-be-installed in the Hilo CBOC.
• The Spinal Clinic was recognized as an Age Friendly organization.
• Quality, Safety, and Value helped oversee the development and progress of multiple programs within VAPIHCS.
• Transitional Care Management conducted numerous outreach and briefings.
• The PAO Department added a Congressional Liaison and TCF Intern to continue to improve communications within VAPIHCS.
• Additionally, nearly all staff have now completed HRO Baseline training, and we are well on our way to becoming a high reliability organization.
This year began in the shadow of COVID-19 pandemic. As we enter 2022, we are still battling COVID-19, however, there is good news. Better procedures are in place to control the spread of the disease, and the majority of our staff is now vaccinated. We have also held several successful vaccination events to get our veterans protected, and we will continue to do this as long as it is necessary.
With the more contagious Omicron variant spreading on Oahu, I encourage anyone who is not yet vaccinated to please get vaccinated as soon as possible. To get your vaccine or Booster shot, call 1-800-214-1306.
I am very thankful to all of you for doing such good work this year of behalf of veterans and the VA. Your hard work has not gone unnoticed, as we continue to serve veterans together, as One Ohana. I look forward to another wonderful year working in service to our Veterans.
I also look forward to becoming a stronger, more cohesive health care system by empowering each of you to always do your best in helping our Veterans and each other.
The VA Pacific Islands Health Care System is not a name, or a building, or a place. The VAPIHCS is you. You are the key to our success and to everything that we do. Our obligation is to honor and care for the men and women who have worn the cloth of the nation – our veterans. But we must be an ohana based on honor, integrity, and love. Love for our mission, love for our veterans, and love for one another. Please remember this, and over time I pray that you will understand and with discernment you will believe it. When this occurs, you will live it in everything you do and in every encounter with our veterans. That is my hope and desire for us as an organization – energized, empowered, and enabled to always do what is right and maintain the courage to do the right thing.
May each of you have a healthy, prosperous, and a blessed new year. It is truly my honor to be your Director.
One Team, One Ohana!
Adam M. Robinson, Jr., MD, MBA, CPE
Director, VA Pacific Islands Health Care System
VADM, MC, USN, (RET)
36th Surgeon General, USN
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