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. 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.

Featured Offering

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Featured Resources:

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:

Resources for Serving Veterans in the Community

Medical-Legal Partnership

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:

Suicide Prevention

Veterans are encouraged to connect with resources one may need now to better respond to challenges one may face later. Veterans are driven and resilient, but everyone needs help sometimes. It is not always easy to ask for help, but there are people who want to listen.

If you are a Veteran having a difficult time or you know a Veteran having a difficult time, the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) encourages you to reach out for peer-to-peer support, clinical care, or counseling. For example:

  • Call, text, or email a friend or family member to ask for support through a tough time. Veterans can find ways to get started on REACH OUT.
  • Connect with a fellow Veteran to talk about what they are going through.
  • Use these resources to find support through life challenges:
    • VA Solid Start: Qualified Solid Start representatives will call Veterans three times in their first year of separation to walk through the benefits available to them.
    • MyVA411: Veterans, their families, and caregivers can call 1-800-MyVA411 (800-698-2411) to easily access information on VA benefits and services.
    • Make the Connection: More than 600 Veterans and family members from across the country have shared their stories of strength and recovery. It only takes a few seconds to find a story to which Veterans can relate.
    • SAMHSA Behavioral Health Treatment Services: This tool, which is confidential and anonymous, allows people to search by ZIP code for local treatment facilities that focus on substance use/addiction and/or mental health issues.
    • Self-Check Assessment: People cope with stressful situations in different ways. This confidential, anonymous risk assessment can show if stress and depression are affecting Veterans.
    • National Call Center for Homeless Veterans: Veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness can get free, confidential support through the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans. Call or chat online 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
    • Veterans Crisis Line: If you find yourself in crisis, do not hesitate to reach out for immediate help. Emergency care is available by calling 911 or going to your nearest emergency department. The Veterans Crisis Line is available 24/7 and can be reached by calling 1-800-273-8255 (Press 1 if you are a Veteran) or chat online here or text 838255.

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.  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.

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.

Local VA Partnerships
NACHC has helped health centers around the country as they develop direct relationships with their local VA facilities. These local 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.

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 local military installations:

Find VA contacts
Find contacts at local military installations

Related Data Sources

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 

For more information about NACHC’s efforts to support veterans contact Gina Capra at trainings@nachc.org at (301) 347-0400.

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