VA, DoD announce "recovery coordinators": new resource for those seriously injured on care and federal benefits.
The Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Affairs is a term of the business that deals with the relation between a government and its veteran communities, usually administered by the designated government agency. (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) recently signed an agreement to provide "federal recovery coordinators" to help ensure medical services and other benefits are provided to seriously wounded, injured, and ill active duty service members and veterans.
The agreement puts into place one of the top recommendations of the President's Commission on Care for America's Returning Wounded Warriors, co-chaired by former Sen. Robert Dole and former Health and Human Services Noun 1. Health and Human Services - the United States federal department that administers all federal programs dealing with health and welfare; created in 1979
Department of Health and Human Services, HHS Secretary Donna Shalala.
The agreement initially establishes that the first federal recovery coordinators will be provided by VA in coordination with DoD and will be located at top military treatment facilities throughout the nation. They will coordinate services between VA and DOD and, if necessary, private-sector facilities, while serving as the ultimate resource for families with questions or concerns about VA, DoD, or other federal benefits.
"This agreement ensures our nation's active duty service members and veterans who have been wounded receive the very best care during their recoveries," said Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Noun 1. Secretary of Veterans Affairs - the person who holds the secretaryship of the Department of Veterans Affairs; "Bush appointed Edward J. Derwinski as the first Secretary of Veterans Affairs" Gordon H. Mansfield. "Service members, veterans and their families can be assured they will have an ultimate resource they can rely on whenever help is needed from VA or DoD."
Job postings for the new positions have been made at http://www.va.gov, with the first 10 federal recovery coordinators scheduled to be hired by Dec. 1. Plans call for the new employees to be trained and in place at four of the military's major healthcare facilities during January 2008.
The coordinators will ensure the appropriate oversight and coordination is provided for care of active duty service members and veterans with major amputations, severe traumatic brain injury Traumatic brain injury (TBI), traumatic injuries to the brain, also called intracranial injury, or simply head injury, occurs when a sudden trauma causes brain damage. TBI can result from a closed head injury or a penetrating head injury and is one of two subsets of acquired brain , spinal cord injury Spinal Cord Injury Definition
Spinal cord injury is damage to the spinal cord that causes loss of sensation and motor control.
Approximately 10,000 new spinal cord injuries (SCIs) occur each year in the United States. , severe sight or hearing impairments and severe multiple injuries. The coordinators will also work closely with family members to take care of services and needs.
The first 10 coordinators will work at military healthcare facilities and at any other locations where patients are later assigned. They will be located at Walter Reed Army Medical Center Walter Reed Army Medical Center, major hospital complex in Washington, D. C., and Forest Glen, Md.; est. 1923 and named for U.S. army surgeon Walter Reed. It is composed of seven units including a general hospital and a research institute. There are several thousand beds. in Washington, D.C.; the Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.; the Brooke Army Medical Center Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio is part of the United States Army Health Services Command. It is a University of Texas Health Science Center and USUHS teaching hospital and contains the Army Burn Center. at Fort Sam Houston Fort Sam Houston, U.S. army base, 3,300 acres (1,335 hectares), S Tex., in San Antonio; headquarters of the Fifth Army. San Antonio, long a military center, donated land in 1870 for the site of a permanent military post that was constructed from 1876 to 1890 and , Texas; and Balboa Park Naval Medical Center in San Diego. Additional recovery coordinators will be added in the future as needs are determined.
The coordinators will have a background in healthcare management and work closely with the clinicians and case management teams to develop and execute another major recommendation from the Dole-Shalala panel, individual federal recovery plans for the wounded. Those plans specify what services are needed across the continuum of care, from recovery through rehabilitation to reintegration reintegration /re·in·te·gra·tion/ (-in-te-gra´shun)
1. biological integration after a state of disruption.
2. restoration of harmonious mental function after disintegration of the personality in mental illness. to civilian life.
The coordinators will have access to and support from the VA's Under Secretary for Health, VA's Under Secretary for Benefits, DoD's Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness The Under Secretary for Personnel and Readiness is a high-ranking position in the United States Department of Defense responsible for advising the Secretary of Defense on recruitment, career development, pay and benefits, and oversight of the state of military readiness. , as well as the commanders of facilities where service members and veterans receive treatment.
"The coordinators will have the training, resources, and support from the highest levels of VA and DOD to help remove any barriers to care and benefits for the service members, veterans, and their family members," said Dr. Michael J. Kussman, VA's Under Secretary for Health. "VA provides the best healthcare available anywhere. This will ensure returning Global War on Terror This article is about U.S. actions, and those of other states, after September 11, 2001. For other conflicts, see Terrorism.
The War on Terror (also known as the War on Terrorism heroes receive the care they deserve."
These federal recovery coordinators are in addition to 105 patient advocates VA has hired, trained and put in place since June 2007. Those advocates, most veterans of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, ensure a smooth transition of wounded service members through VA's healthcare system, while also cutting red tape for other benefits.
Reprinted with permission from the Department of Veteran Affairs