Supporting Our Veterans

COVID-19 UPDATE: The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has implemented an aggressive public health response to protect and care for Veterans, families and health care providers in the face of this evolving health risk. Learn more about VA’s efforts at: https://www.publichealth.va.gov/n-coronavirus/

NACHC is committed to supporting health centers serving veterans in their communities. Since 2013, NACHC has worked with health centers on a range of topics including veteran employment, increasing access to care for veterans and military family members, and establishing partnerships with veteran-focused organizations in local communities.  Following are several tools and resources to assist health centers with their veteran-focused programs and initiatives.

“Success Stories: Health Centers & Military Veterans” Now Available!

Check out this fantastic compilation of the stories of 10 health centers from around the country who have creative programs and projects in place to serve the Veterans of their local communities. This may spur some ideas of local partnering between your health center, PCA, HCCN and with your VAMC or CBOC. The compilation is suitable for printing or sharing with colleagues or check it out with our Veterans resources on the Health Center Resource Clearinghouse at: www.healthcenterinfo.org/results/?Combined=Veterans.

Archived Webinar Available: Standardized Screening for Military Veteran Status occurred May 20, 2020 | 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm EDT

This webinar highlights an Iowa pilot project between a health center, the state Primary Care Association and the local VA Medical Center on the Identification of Military Veterans Upon Implementation of a Standardized Screening Process in Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). The pilot project was the focus of the 2019 Journal of Community Health Article The Identification of Military Veterans Upon Implementation of a Standardized Screening Process in a Federally Qualified Health Center. The archived webinar is available here.

Identification of Military Veterans Upon Implementation of a Standardized Screening Process in a Federally Qualified Health Center (October 2019)

The Journal of Community Health published an article, linked above, documenting the results of a Veteran status screening intervention in the health center setting intended to identify Veterans in the patient population in order for the health center to better understand and meet their unique needs. The results indicate that the use of a standardized screening question in the Electronic Health Record system significantly increases the number of Veteran patients reported in UDS. In the case described, the health center identified an additional 450 Veteran patients as a result of the Veteran status screening intervention implemented at the health center.

This intervention was highlighted at an education session at the NACHC 2019 Policy and Issues Forum and this article was subsequently written by a team from the Iowa Primary Care Association, Veterans Health Administration Office of Rural Health, Community Health Centers of Southeastern Iowa, and NACHC.

VA CHOICE to MISSION

As of June 6, 2019 the VA began implementing portions of the VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks Act of 2018 (MISSION Act), which both ends the Veterans Choice Program and establishes a consolidated Veterans Community Care Program. Read the note explaining the MISSION Act from Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie.

Health Centers are encouraged to become Community Providers as part of the VA Community Care Program. Check out NACHC’s Toolkit and Fact Sheet to guide your efforts:

Toolkit for the Veteran Community Care Program Administered by the U.S. Veterans Health Administration(May 2020)

Fact Sheet: Partnering with the VA to Provide Care for Veterans in Community Health Centers(May 2020)

Please sign up for the Office of Community Care Newsletter from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). This provides the latest updates for community-based providers who are officially part of the VA’s Community Care Network. See the Community Care website at: https://www.va.gov/COMMUNITYCARE/providers/index.asp.

NACHC Veterans Interest Group

Thank you for your continued interest in and dedication to serving Veterans in your communities.  NACHC’s Veterans Interest Group (VIG) is an informal networking and information group intended to share promising practices, policy updates and operational information regarding increased access to care and services for the Veteran populations served in community health centers. If you would like to receive Veterans-related updates via email, please send your contact info to trainings@nachc.org. Recent updates are posted below:

Recent Updates

Toolkit for the Veteran Community Care Program Administered by the U.S. Veterans Health Administration(May 2020)
Fact Sheet: Partnering with the VA to Provide Care for Veterans in Community Health Centers(May 2020)
NACHC’s Comment on the VA proposed Care Coordination for Dental Benefits (CCDB) Pilot Program (January 2020)
VA Medical-Legal Partnership Readiness Guide (June 2019)
Fact Sheet Update: Providing Care for Veterans in Community Health Centers (January 2019)

Resources for Serving Veterans in the Community

Make the Connection

Make the Connection is a publicly available, free website that features more than 600 videos of Veterans and their loved ones speaking about their experiences with mental health and everyday life during and after service. These stories show those who are facing challenges that treatment works, recovery is possible, and they are not alone. MakeTheConnection.net also features information pages and resources for challenging life experiences and mental health signs, symptoms, and conditions. Visit Make the Connection for more information. 

Partnerships

Over the past several years, NACHC has supported the development of partnerships between health centers, the VA, VA’s Third Party Administrators, Veteran Service Organizations, and other service providers. These partnerships have helped veterans access high-quality care in their communities more easily.  These efforts have resulted in fact sheets, webinars, and success stories, which NACHC has used to educate health centers about best practices for successful partnership building.

Partnership areas include:

Community Outreach

NACHC has worked to support partnerships that encourage outreach to underserved veteran populations and inform veterans about the care options available to them in order to improve health care outcomes.

VA Partnerships

NACHC has helped health centers around the country as they develop direct relationships with their local VA facilities. These partnerships streamline the process for veterans interested in accessing community care, especially in remote communities or in communities near VA facilities with longer wait times.

VA Webinar

Veteran Resources, Data, and Maps

There is a significant amount of publicly available information health centers can use to start getting smart about the needs of their local veteran population.

National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics

U.S. Census Bureau – Veterans Data

The Bureau of Labor Statistics – Veterans data 

Health centers can also find out more about how to serve veterans in their community by reaching out directly to their local VA facilities and and local military installations:

Find VA contacts

Find contacts at local military installations

For more information about NACHC’s efforts to support veterans or to join our mailing list contact trainings@nachc.org at 301/347-0400 or Gina Capra, Vice Pesident, Training and Technical Assistance at gcapra@nachc.org.

X