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Director's Message January 7, 2022

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VAPIHCS Veterans, In 2021, VA Pacific Islands Health Care System held vaccine clinics around the island to offer veterans an opportunity to get vaccinated in their communities, and you responded.


I am grateful that so many people took advantage of the opportunities that we provided in order to get vaccinated. In light of this new and highly contagious Omicron variant, I would like to stress how vital it is that you also get your COVID-19 booster shot. You can set up an appointment to do so by calling 1-800-214-1306. Studies show that getting the booster shot helps significantly decrease the risk of contracting the Omicron variant, and if you do contract the virus, symptoms will be milder.

The Omicron variant is much more contagious than previous COVID-19 variants that we have seen. That’s why it’s important that we also move forward assuming that everyone could have it, and take the necessary precautions:

  • Wash Your Hands
  • Wear your PPE, including a high-quality mask and eye protection
  • Use sanitizer on surfaces that multiple people touch
  • Do not attend large events or go out to public places unless it’s necessary

We know what to do to stop the virus. We just have to keep doing it. Pandemic fatigue is real, and some people may feel tired of wearing masks and sanitizing their hands after everything they touch. Even when we are tired of all of these precautions, it is essential that we continue to do them. This is not just for our own safety, but also for the safety of our families. Please keep your family and yourself safe this year by getting vaccinated and getting your booster shot.

As 2022 begins, the 2021 Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) is coming to an end. If you haven’t made a contribution yet, start your new year off by Being the Face of Change as a CFC contributor. Your actions today empower a world of change tomorrow. Pledge your gift by visiting: GiveCFC.org.

In 2022, the Million Veteran Program (MVP) hopes to reach their goal of having one million Veterans donate blood. These samples will be used for important medical research that will help current and future Veterans in many different ways. Research from the Million Veteran Program has already helped improve screening criteria that could save lives, and there is so much more that they will be able to do. I donated last year because I believe in the cause, and I hope you’ll consider signing up with them if you haven’t already. If you would like to donate to the MVP, please contact Sedra Graves at: 808-433-0125 or email at  sedra.graves@va.gov.

January’s monthly topic is about limiting alcohol use. As many of you know, alcohol use can lead to problems like: saying and doing things you wouldn’t while you were sober, problems driving or having other kinds of accidents, problems with thinking and remembering, and dangerous drug interactions. I encourage you to review the VA materials on the subject and to talk this over with your doctor if you have questions.

The new Windward CBOC is accepting patients now. Veterans on the Windward side of the island can transfer their care at any time. The new CBOC is located at 46-001 Kamehameha Hwy Ste. 301 in the Adventist Castle Professional Center. If you would like to transfer your care to the Windward CBOC, call 1-800-214-1306.

Finally, many people like to make resolutions in January about ways they want to make changes in their lives. If you choose to make a resolution this year, remember that it’s important to set achievable goals. Rather than resolving to lose 50 pounds this year, resolve to lose one pound per week. Instead of resolving to go to the gym every day, start with two or three times per week or a short walk in your neighborhood after dinner each day. Studies show that people are more likely to stick to their resolutions if they are set goals that they feel they can reach.

I wish you all the very best for a healthy, happy, and productive new year!

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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