United States Department of Veterans Affairs
VA Midwest Health Care Network

Network Update - August 2009

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Department of Veterans Affairs
VA MIDWEST HEALTH CARE NETWORK
Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 23
NETWORK UPDATE
AUGUST 2009
www.visn23.va.gov

 

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VA Partners with DoD and the Department of Labor on National Resource Directory

A National Resource Directory (NRD) is an online resource for wounded, ill and injured Service Members, Veterans, their families and those who support them. The NRD provides information on, and access to, medical and non–medical services and resources across the country which will help them reach their personal and professional goals as they successfully transition from recovery to community living. The NRD is an online partnership of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense (DoD), and Department of Labor, as well as numerous Veteran service and benefit organizations; non–profit community–based and faith–based organizations; academic institutions, professional associations and philanthropic organizations.  For more information log on at www.nationalresourcedirectory.gov.

 

Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) Update
  • Alexandria, MN CBOC - Ribbon cutting/dedication is tentatively planned for Monday, October 5, 2009.
  • Rochester, MN CBOC - On July 27, the Rochester Clinic moved into a new space at 3900 55th Street NW.  At 9,800 square feet, the new space is three times larger than the previous location on Skyline Drive, southwest of downtown.
  • Mankato, MN CBOC  - In August, the mental health clinic in Mankato will move to the Wells Fargo Bank Building, 1600 E. Madison AVenue, Suite 103.  The clinic is currently housed in the old government building slated from demolition.
  • Northwest Metro, MN CBOC - A request for proposal for a new Northwest Metro clinicl along Hwy 10 corridor is expected to be announced soon.  This facility will be larger than the typical CBOC, offering some specialty services as well as primary care and mental health care.
  • Southwest Metro and South Central Border, MN CBOCs- CBOCs are expected to open in 2010.
  • Rice Lake, WI CBOC - In late September, the first phase of a two-phase expansion/renovation project at the Rice Lake, WI clinic is lsated for completion.
  • Hibbing, MN VA Clinic - In October, the Hibbing VA clinic, operated under a contract with Health Net, plans to move into the Iron Gate Plaza.
  • Grand Forks, ND CBOC - A new clinic will open at 3221 32nd Avenue S. in Grand Forks.  A ribbon cutting ceremony and open house is set for August 18 at 3:00 p.m.  Senators Kent Conrad and Senator Byron Dorgan are expected to attend.
  • Devil's Lake, ND CBOC - A new clinic is expected to open in 2010.  Fargo VAMC is conducting market research to identify potential sites in the Devil's Lake area for clinic location.
  • Watertown, SD CBOC - A mobile outpatient clinic was opened in Watertown in June.  This clinic was obtained from the Emergency Management Strategic Healthcare Group and is similar to those used in emergency situations such as Hurrican Katrina.  It will be used until a permanent location for the CBOC is finalized.
  • Wagner, SD CBOC - A contract to build a Vanguard Modular building for a permanent location was recently signed.  The contract calls for deliveyr of the 3000 sq. ft. building within 90 days.  The Yankton Sioux Tribe and Indian Health Service are providing the land for this clinic at no cost to the VA.  The clinic is projected to open by the end of 2009.
Summer Issue of Veterans' Health Coming Soon

Look for your summer issue of Veterans’ Health in your mailbox later this month.  This issue includes information on Emergency Preparedness, MOVE, Influenza protection, bicycling and much more.

 

Service to Combat Veterans

              COMBAT VETERANS ENROLLED IN VISN 23

              Cumulative through June 30, 2009

Location

National Guard

Reserve

Active Duty

Total

Black Hills

977

35

1,146

2,158

Central Iowa

1,726

270

850

2,846

Fargo

2,126

157

745

3,028

Iowa City

2,427

533

314

3,274

Minneapolis

5,044

3,335

1,777

10,156

Ne/W Iowa

2,643

1,055

1,219

4,917

St. Cloud

1,888

237

1,139

3,264

Sioux Falls

976

177

2,066

3,219

VISN

TOTALS

17,807

5,799

9,256

32,862

 

 

COMBAT VETERANS CARE IN VISN 23

Cumulative through June 30, 2009

Location

Outpatient

Inpatient

Enrolled Only

Total

Black Hills

1,838

210

110

2,158

Central Iowa

1,706

13

1,127

2,846

Fargo

1,415

21

1,592

3,028

Iowa City

2,428

50

796

3,274

Minneapolis

3,776

195

6,185

10,156

Ne/W Iowa

3,093

49

1,775

4,917

St. Cloud

3,147

84

33

3,264

Sioux Falls

2,908

91

220

3,219

VISN Totals

20,311

713

11,838

32,862

 

 

Minneapolis Adult Day Health Care Moves to New Space

The Minneapolis Adult Day Health Care (ADHC) program recently moved to 6636 Cedar Avenue in Richfield. In May, the Minneapolis VAMC announced plans to move ADHC to make services available to veterans closer to home, and to offer more than a 2-day a week program.   The Cedar Avenue location is less than five miles from the medical center and offers a large, airy meeting room, a small fitness center with workout machines, staff offices and storage.  In the new space, veterans have easier access to the facility and a designated entrance, just a few feet from the parking lot.  This new space was specifically designed to meet the needs of the ADHC program.

 

Veterans Initiatives and Research Institute Opens

For decades Building 11 at the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis was the home of medical center director who lived on VA grounds.  Today, the two-story red brick house located across the street from the medical center on Minnehaha Avenue is home for The Veterans Initiatives Center and Research Institute (VICTRI) – a non-profit program launched in 2008 to assist veterans starting new businesses. The house contains a fully operational business center and two conference rooms with multimedia capability. So far, VICTRI has helped 18 veterans start businesses or initiatives.  “Our goal is to be an enthusiastic, proactive national leader, championing, creating and supporting alliances and partnerships to assist veterans who are in need of multiple and varied resources and supporting those veterans to carry out their business, projects or research,” says CEO and President Jack Scharrett.  VICTRI founder and chairman of the board is Jimmie Lee Coulthard. VICTRI is not a job placement service for veterans, however.  For more information, see www.victri.org/

 

8th Annual VA Show and Sine to be held August 12 at Sioux Falls VA Medical Center

Area car and motorcycle enthusiasts will cruise to the Sioux Falls VA for the 8th Annual VA Show & Shine on August 12. All vehicles are welcome and there is no registration fee. The event is intended for Veterans’ and others’ enjoyment.

 

Sioux Falls VAMC Celebrates 60 Years of Service

The Royal C. Johnson Veterans Memorial Hospital in Sioux Falls (more commonly known as the Sioux Falls VA Medical Center) observed its 60th anniversary of serving Veterans on July 20. Family members of the first Veteran admitted on July 19, 1949 were among approximately 250 people who attended the anniversary program. The program ended with a ride through the grounds by Rolling Thunder, Patriot Guard, and Legion Riders. The hospital was named for Royal C. Johnson, U.S. Congressman, who was instrumental in consolidating Veterans benefits into what was formerly known as the Veterans Administration.  During the first year of existence, the Sioux Falls VA served 2400 veterans; in FY2008, 26,000 veterans received care.

 

Sioux Falls VAMC Opens Newly Renovated Mental Health Clinic

In June, the newly renovated 6-bed inpatient Mental Health Unit again began accepting patients. Construction began July 1, 2008 when the inpatient unit was closed and renovation began on the space occupied by the former inpatient unit. During the interim, Veterans were hospitalized in private, state, and other VA facilities. The new unit is secured to ensure a safe environment for Veterans.

 

Priority Group 8 Enrollment Relaxation Changes
VA eligibility rules changed on June 15, 2009, making it easier for more Veterans to enroll in VA’s health care system. Under this new regulation, VA relaxed income restrictions on enrollment for health benefits. While this new provision does not remove consideration of income, it does increase income thresholds. Veterans who have applied for VA health care at any point in 2009 will have their applications reconsidered under the new formula.  Those who applied before 2009, but were rejected due to income, must reapply.  Veterans would qualify if their household income does not exceed the current VA income thresholds (means test threshold and/or geographic means test threshold) by more than 10%. VA will contact eligible Veterans through a direct-mail campaign, Veterans Service Organizations, and a national and regional marketing campaign. A web–based calculator is available for Veterans to enter their income information, dependents, and zip code to assess if their income would fall within the proposed income threshold adjustments. Veterans are encouraged to contact VA’s Health Resource Center at 1–877–222 VETS (8387) or visit the VA health eligibility website for more information.
Priority 8 Calculator 

An Enrollment Calculator is available to online to help Veterans determine their potential eligibility for VA health care services under the proposed regulation.  For more information log on at http://www.va.gov/healtheligibility/
Veterans who applied after 2003 and were denied eligibility because of income will receive a letter from VA’s Health Enrollment Center inviting them to re-apply. 


 

VA Health Care Overview Now Available
Health Care Overview 
The guide is designed to provide Veterans and their families with the information they need to understand VA’s health care system – eligibility requirements, its enrollment process, including Enrollment Priority Groups, co-pays that certain Veterans may be charged and the health benefits and services available to help Veterans.  You will find helpful information about My HealtheVet, Creditable Coverage for Medicare Part D, Income Verification and medically related travel benefits.  The brochure is not intended to provide information on all of the health services offered by VA.  To obtain a copy of the book, contact your local VA health care facility’s Enrollment Office or the Veterans Health Benefits Service Center at 877-222-VETS (8387).  You can view the book online at www.va.gov/healtheligibility

 


For more information, call the Network Office at (612) 725-1968
Log on at www.visn23.va.gov or e-mail sharyl.schaepe@va.gov