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VA Capitol Health Care Network


VISN 5 Patient Health Education


Tobacco Cessation
Fall is here and so is "The Great American Cold Turkey Trot." Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable, premature death and illness in the United States, and responsible for almost half a million deaths each year.

This year, the Department of Defense will be joining with local VA Medical Centers to host the Great American Cold Turkey Trot. Give up tobacco for a day and take a walking or running trot to celebrate! Events will be hosted throughout the area on Thursday, November 19, 2015. For more information on the Great American Cold Turkey Trot, go to:

Quitting tobacco is difficult and takes courage. Research shows that you are twice as likely to succeed in quitting if you take part in a tobacco cessation program. Check out tobacco cessation class offerings at your local VA Medical Center. By attending, you will receive the support and resources to help you quit.

Why not make November your Quit Month? Find additional free resources, such as supportive text-messages, as well as smart phone apps to help you quit at:

Do you know someone with diabetes? November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Are you at risk? You could be at risk if you:

  • Have a relative with diabetes
  • Are over 45 years of age
  • Are inactive and overweight

Diabetes continues as the fastest growing health concern in America. Twelve percent of Americans are diagnosed with diabetes. More than half of Asian Americans and nearly half of Hispanic Americans do not know they have diabetes! It is vital to know if you have diabetes to prevent damage to your heart, kidneys, eyes, and blood vessels. Symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased hunger
  • Sudden, unexplained weight loss
  • Frequent urination
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth

Diabetes does not just affect the individual. It affects the entire family. Resources and support for preventing diabetes, as well as managing your diabetes are available at your VA Medical Center. Talk with your health care team about how to access these resources to better manage or prevent diabetes.

Ask Me 3
What goals do you have when it comes to your health? Getting involved in your care and setting goals for your health could make a difference in not only how long you live, but also how well you live.

How can you be more active in your care? We recommend you ask your health care team three questions at every visit:

  • What is my main problem?
  • What do I need to do?
  • Why is it important for me to do this?

So, how do you see yourself and your health 5, 10, or 15 years from now? Would you like to find out your "Health Age?" Take the "Healthy Living Assessment" available on the My HealtheVet website. This assessment only takes about fifteen minutes and gives you a summary including your health age, your risk for certain diseases, and what you can do to improve your health.

Find out more about the healthy living assessment at this trusted website:

Let your health care team coach you toward better health! Remember - ask your 3 questions.

For more health information, visit VA's National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.