Online Program

Veteran Centric Health Care Toolkit for Civilian Hospitals

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 8:30 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.

Judith Sabino, MPH, CDP, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Allentown, PA
Eric Johnson Jr., MPSA, CPS, CAAMA, CHS, CHEP, CDP, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Allentown, PA
James F. Geiger, FACHE, Administration, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Bethlehem, PA
Alexander Alex, MHA, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Allentown, PA
Zachary Laudenslager, BS, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Allentown, PA
Although Veterans Administration (VA) healthcare facilities are located throughout the country, seventy percent of veterans receive care in the civilian medical system (Congressional Research Service, 2014).  To alleviate potential delays in accessing VA services by eligible beneficiaries, recent legislation (2014 Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act) may indicate that civilian healthcare facilities are likely to see an influx of demand from veterans seeking care either closer to home or when the waiting time exceeds VA standards. 

Veterans can exhibit service related symptoms that may go undiagnosed (and untreated) without clinician knowledge of military experience.  Military service is a component of cultural background that contributes to health status, morbidities and use of healthcare services.  Military values and tradition may limit timely receipt of healthcare services.  Understanding a patient’s military background is essential to the delivery of high quality, cross cultural care.   

Beyond biomedical conditions, veterans and their families have social needs that clinical encounters can address.  Activities that raise awareness of these particular needs and identify accessible community services will aid clinicians in providing high quality care to veterans.  

A toolkit is available to facilitate veteran centric health services.  The toolkit recommendations are based on evidence based practices including patient-/family-centered care, patient-based cross-cultural healthcare, data-informed decision making and ecological approaches for organizational transformation. 

This presentation will discuss rationale for veteran-centric care and key organizational strategies health systems can adopt to ensure the delivery of care that meets the physical, emotional and cultural needs of patients who have served in the military.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Diversity and culture

Learning Objectives:
Describe key health system strategies to enhance veteran health care and engagement of employees who are veterans.

Keyword(s): Veterans' Health, Cultural Competency

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have served as co-chair of Lehigh Valley Health Network's Veteran Health Initiative for 4 years. I also lead the health network's diversity and cultural awareness initiative. A public health practitioner for over 25 years, I hold an MPH in health services administration and am a certified as a diversity practitioner by the Society for Diversity.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.