Veterans’ Health Today
New Technologies Make Accessing VA Care Easier
Access to VA care is now available to more Veterans living across the nation thanks to new technologies that allow clinicians to remotely connect with patients. VA is striving to offer services that are easier to access and meet your personal needs.
For example, VA Loma Linda Healthcare System (VALLHS) has expanded services in Blythe, CA with the recent opening of a new Rural Health Outreach Clinic as part of their Tele-Health Program. Using tele-health technology, a provider at the main VA Loma Linda Medical Center will use videoconferencing equipment to connect with patients located at the Blythe clinic. The clinic provides connection for a number of services, including mental health, the MOVE! Program, gastrointestinal health, women’s health, smoking cessation, and dementia care. In addition, any photos or exams, such as an eye exam or a photo of a skin problem, can be stored and then securely forwarded to a doctor for further review.
This project will allow remote VA health care access to Veterans who visit the Blythe clinic. VA is committed to meeting your needs wherever you choose to live.
“This is an exciting experience for the VA,” says Judith Jensen, Certified Case Manager for Home Health, Rural Outreach and Tele-Health at VALLHS. “Tele-health has proved its worth in this small project and others like it. It expands the reach of a provider in the VA to Veterans living at a distance who choose to access care in their own community.”
Here are some new technologies that you may benefit from:
All VA programs have a strong preventive care component as well. “The most important thing we can do today is to prepare for tomorrow,” says Jensen. “And that starts by using support systems with many resources to prevent negative outcomes.”
Check into these programs and services!
* Contact your Coordinator for more information.
Keeping You Well by Keeping You Well-Informed
There are many ways to learn about new programs offered by VA. Whether you prefer to get your news through e-mail, social networking sites, the VA website, or your mobile phone, your VA is using several methods to communicate with Veterans.
Social media is an easy way to learn skills to keep healthy. For example, if you “follow” VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System (GLA) on Twitter or “like” them on Facebook, there is a chance that you have “partied” with them, too! Yes, GLA really knows how to throw a social networking party! According to Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (HPDP) Program Manager Alisa Donner, “We’ve hosted Twitter parties a few times. Each party focuses on a different Healthy Living or Health Care topic that we feel will be beneficial to our Veterans. We take every opportunity to help our Veterans understand the importance of healthy living for them and their families.”
Donner, like other program managers throughout VA Desert Pacific Healthcare Network, strives to provide the tools you need to enhance your quality of life by offering information that helps you:
VA has many health education initiatives throughout the organization. “A large focus of my job is to coordinate with all the programs that are offering health education, and work together with them to maximize their effectiveness. Our goal is for Veterans to get the information they need from these programs because when they have access to actionable and easy-to-understand resources, they are empowered to make healthier choices,” explains Donner. VA wants more Veterans and their families to be healthy at every stage of life. When you receive preventive care, you can have better health and lower health care costs. A focus on prevention and wellness helps you live a long and productive life and can help combat rising health care costs. In support of this effort, the HPDP program has launched a communications campaign that focuses on nine Healthy Living messages that are promoted through yearly events in printed marketing materials and websites.
While social networking is a large part of the HPDP campaign at GLA, if you have been in contact with your local VA medical center, you have probably noticed the HPDP program at work on-site. The program uses many different types of marketing to help get your attention. VA wants you to be engaged in conversations with your medical care team to create an atmosphere that results in better medical care for you. When you leave your VA medical facility, you will be able to take printed materials with you that will help raise awareness, interest and hopefully lead you to act in healthier ways. These handouts can also list websites with additional information.
In some facilities, there are Healthy Living messages on closed circuit televisions in waiting areas and patients’ rooms. Walking down the hall, there’s a good chance you will run into an educational display table hosted by HPDP staff. You will see banners, posters and displays as you walk through the hospital. You may also hear Healthy Living messages if you are placed on hold on a telephone call.
The HPDP program manager works closely with the Health Behavior Coordinator and Health Education Coordinator at your medical center. The Health Behavior Coordinators have experience in health behavior change training and are responsible for training, mentoring and guiding the Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACT) and other clinical staff to help patients manage their own health-related behaviors through the use of coaching, motivational interviewing and other communication approaches.
The PACT model is an important part of this education. With this patient centered care, not only do you have your own medical care provider, but you have your own nurse and clerk, too! When you call to ask questions, you speak to a member of your team. You get to know them, and they get to know you. Your PACT can help you to understand your behaviors and guide you in making healthier decisions that fit your lifestyle. They can direct you to the specific type of care you may need to live a healthier life.
In addition, Donner recommends that you sign up for an upgraded MyHealtheVet account at www.myhealth.va.gov by completing the one-time, In-Person Authentication Process. This website offers you, your family and/or caregiver access to VA health care information and services. It’s a free, online account where you can access health education resources, track your health, refill your VA prescriptions and have conversations with your VA health care providers through secure email messaging.
The Healthy Living Messages Campaign focus is on reinforcing these nine positive health style behaviors.
- Be Involved in Your Health Care
- Take an active role.
Work with your health care team to improve your health.
- Be Tobacco Free
- Quitting smoking is the single most important thing you can do to improve your health and the health of your family.
- Don’t use tobacco in any form.
- Eat a variety of foods including vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
- Limit your salt, fat and sugar intake.
Be Physically Active
- Get up and move, avoid inactivity.
- Aim for at least two and half hours of moderate intensity aerobic activity each week.
Strive for a Healthy Weight
- If you need to lose weight, losing even a little will help.
- If you are of normal weight, maintain it.
- If you choose to drink alcohol, drink in moderation.
- Avoid binge drinking.
Get Recommended Screening Tests and Immunizations
- Recommendations for preventive services depend on your age, gender, health status and family history.
- Ask which screening tests and immunizations are recommended for you.
- It is important to pay attention to your stress levels.
- Learn about ways to help you manage and reduce your stress.
- Find out how to prevent sexually transmitted infections, falls and motor vehicle crashes.
- Take action to protect yourself and those you love from harm.
Department of Veterans Affairs
While VA employees nationwide have always shared values that have included providing the best care possible to support Veterans, there has not been a single set of Core Values and Characteristics that applied to all VA employees. Now, with the launch of I CARE, VA has a unified workforce with one set of shared principles.
According to Network Director Stan Johnson, “Leadership at each of our sites of care has personally shared our I CARE values, characteristics and expectations with their staff. We wanted to demonstrate once again our personal commitment to serving Veterans.”
The process used to develop these Core Values and Characteristics was comprehensive, taking nearly two years to complete. Input was received from staff in all three VA Administrations on health care, benefits, and memorial services.
Why is this important? This set of Core Values helps to define the VA culture and will dictate how we care for you, your family and other Veterans. The VA Core Values are:
The Core Characteristics help guide how the VA will perform their mission. They shape VA’s strategy and influence how important decisions are made within VA. The Core Characteristics are:
- Trustworthy – VA earns the trust of those it serves through the actions of all employees.
- Accessible – VA welcomes all Veterans and will help them use all of its services.
- Quality – VA provides the highest standard of care and services while managing the costs. VA is a model of excellence. VA employees are empowered, trusted and respected for their competence and dedication.
- Innovative – VA prizes initiative. They seek improvement and remain at the forefront in knowledge, proficiency and capability.
- Agile – VA anticipates challenges and new requirements. They continuously assess the environment and work at finding solutions to better serve Veterans.
- Integrated – VA links care and services across the Department; other federal, state and local agencies; and partner and Veterans service organizations to provide useful programs to Veterans.
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki sums it up this way, “Our characteristics
are inspirational goals that we want everyone — VA employees, Veterans and the American people — to associate with our department and with our workforce.”
Can’t Make Your Appointment?
You can help improve VA care and help your fellow Veterans by always calling ahead if you can’t make an appointment. If you call to cancel or reschedule your appointment at least 24 hours in advance, another Veteran can be given your time slot. This helps us provide timely service to all our Veterans. Our goal is for Veterans to be able to see their primary care provider when they want to see them (within one or two business days). We are making every effort to make sure that Veterans don’t have to schedule appointments far in advance because there are no sooner openings. To change your appointment, just call the Scheduling Desk and a patient services assistant will reschedule your appointment for a time that is more convenient for you!
VA GREATER LOS ANGELES HEALTHCARE SYSTEM
Make, cancel or change your Appointment(s): (800) 952-4852 press 2 and then follow the menu prompts to speak to a scheduling representative
VA LOMA LINDA HEALTHCARE SYSTEM
Make an Appointment: (800) 741-8387 or (909) 825-7084 listen to the options and press 3.
Cancel or change your Appointment(s): (800) 741-8387 or (909) 825-7084 listen to options and press 1.
If you are registered with My HealtheVet you can send a Secure Message directly to your provider to schedule, change or cancel an appointment.
If you haven't been assigned a Primary Care Provider and have already enrolled you may walk into our Intake Clinic, Monday through Friday (except holidays).
VA LONG BEACH HEALTHCARE SYSTEM
Make, cancel or change an Appointment: (562) 826-8000 and press 2.
VA SAN DIEGO HEALTHCARE SYSTEM
Make, cancel or change your Appointment(s): call the Primary Care Call Center at (858) 552-7475 or
1-800-331-8387, or call the phone number printed on the bottom of your appointment letter.
VA SOUTHERN NEVADA HEALTHCARE SYSTEM
Cancel an Appointment: (702) 636-3000 or (888) 633-7554 and press Option 8 to cancel.
Make or change your Appointment(s): Call the particular clinic; the phone numbers are provided below.
Central Clinic (702) 636-6370
North Clinic (702) 636-6380
East Clinic (702) 636-6360
Northwest Clinic (702) 636-6320
Henderson Clinic (702) 636-6363
Pahrump Clinic (775) 727-7535
Women's Clinic (702) 636-3076
Spinal Cord Injury-D Clinic (702) 636-3015
Geriatrics Clinic (Central Clinic) (702) 636-6334
Geriatrics Clinic (East Clinic) (702) 636-6323
Access to your VA care has never been easier! To enroll, visit www.va.gov.
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VA Medical Centers
VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System
P.O. Box 360001
Las Vegas, NV 89036
702-636-3000 www.lasvegas.va.gov/ Facebook: LasVegasVA
4700 Las Vegas Blvd. North
Las Vegas, NV 89191
VA Loma Linda
11201 Benton Street
Loma Linda, CA 92357
Facebook: VALomaLinda and Twitter: VeteransHealth
VA Long Beach
5901 East 7th Street
Long Beach, CA 90822
Facebook and Twitter: VALongBeach
VA San Diego
3350 La Jolla Village Drive
San Diego, CA 92161
Facebook and Twitter: VASanDiego
VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System
11301 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90073
Facebook: LasVegasVA and Twitter: VALasVegas
Effective February 15, 2012
2569 W. Woodland Drive
Anaheim, CA 92801
547 W. Lancaster Blvd.
Lancaster, CA 93534
1801 Westwind Drive
Bakersfield, CA 93301
Blythe Telehealth Clinic
205 N. 1st Street, Suite C
Blythe, CA 92225
2001 River Avenue, Bldg. 28
Long Beach, CA 90810
835 3rd Avenue, Suite B
Chula Vista, CA 91910
800 Magnolia Avenue #101
Corona, CA 92879
East Los Angeles
5400 E. Olympic Blvd. #150
City of Commerce, CA 90022
815 East Pennsylvania Ave.
Escondido, CA 92025
1251 Redondo Beach Blvd.
Gardena, CA 90247
2920 Green Valley Parkway, Suite 215
Henderson, NV 89014
1600 South Imperial Drive
El Centro, CA 92243
25292 McIntyre Street
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
916 West Owens Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89106
Laughlin Outreach Clinic
3650 South Point Circle
Laughlin, Nevada 89029
351 E. Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
8810 Rio San Diego Drive
San Diego, CA 92108
28078 Baxter Road, Ste. 540
Murrieta, CA 92563
1300 Rancho del Oro Drive
Oceanside, CA 92056
2000 Outlet Center Drive
Oxnard, CA 93036
41-990 Cook St., Building F
Palm Desert, CA 92211
2100 E. Calvada Boulevard
Pahrump, NV 89048
8599 Haven Ave., Suite 102
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
420 W. Las Tunas
San Gabriel, CA 91776
San Luis Obispo
1288 Morro St., #200
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
1506 Brookhollow Drive
Santa Ana, CA 92705
4440 Calle Real
Santa Barbara, CA 93110
1550 East Main Street
Santa Maria, CA 93454
16111 Plummer Street
Sepulveda, CA 91343
12138 Industrial Blvd., Ste. 120
Victorville, CA 92395
Whittier/Santa Fe Springs
10210 Orr and Day Road
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
This publication is provided as a service to enrolled Veterans in So. California and So. Nevada.
Additional copies can be
found at: www.desertpacific.va.gov/DESERTPACIFIC/publicaffairs.asp
Address changes should be sent to your local VA medical center.