Supporting Our Veterans
NACHC is committed to supporting health centers serving veterans in their communities. NACHC works 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.
New Webinar: Serving Military Veterans in Health Centers: Exploring Unexpected Partners and Resources
This project was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $7,287,500 with 0 percentage financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government.
“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.
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Recent updates are posted below:
- Veterans Interest Group Update – March 18, 2021
- Veterans Interest Group Update – November 11, 2020
- Veterans Interest Group Update – August 12, 2020
- Veterans Interest Group Update – April 21, 2020
- Veterans Interest Group Update – March 5, 2020
- Veterans Interest Group Update – January 17, 2020
Resources for Serving Veterans in the Community
Veterans may benefit from a medical-leadership partnership (MLP) program at your health center or in collaboration with a MLP in your community. Technical assistance and training resources are available from the National Center for Medical Legal Partnership, (Home — National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership) a HRSA-funded partner, housed within The George Washington University. Specific guides on Veterans issues include:
- VA Medical-Legal Partnerships: Implementation Guidance and Suggested Measures (NCMLP, 2020) (Amendment to the NCMLP VA MLP Readiness Guide)
- Brief: Assisting Veterans and service members with legal needs during VA transitions (NCMLP, 2020)
- Health Center MLP Toolkit: A planning, implementation, and practice guide for building and sustaining a health center-based MLP
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
For more information about NACHC’s efforts to support veterans or to join our mailing list contact Gina Capra at email@example.com at 301/347-0400