Monday, June 26, 2017

VA Press Releases on Homeless Veterans and Air Force

VA and Air Force Announce Tele-Intensive Care Unit Sharing Agreement
WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Midwest Health Care Network and the Air Force Medical Operations Agency today announced a collaborative Tele-ICU agreement that will allow Air Force patients at five military treatment facilities to use VA’s Tele-ICU capabilities through its centralized support center in Minneapolis.

The agreement extends to Air Force patients in Las Vegas; Hampton, Virginia; Biloxi, Mississippi; Dayton, Ohio; and Anchorage, Alaska.

The patients will be able to see VA’s Tele-ICU licensed physicians — called Tele-Intensivists — and critical-care nurses through telecommunications or other electronic technologies, which include direct view of the patient through live audio and video feed; electronic monitoring; and chart review and consultations. The doctors are also able to prescribe medications, order tests or procedures, make diagnoses and discuss health care with patients and family members.

“For VA, telehealth is revolutionizing the way we practice medicine,” said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin, who also sees patients by telehealth. “Tele-ICU is more than just a way of providing remote care. We know it improves the quality of care, decreases costs by supporting evidence-based practices and it improves patient outcomes through decreased ventilator days, ventilator-associated pneumonias and reduced lengths of stay. We are pleased to partner with the Air Force in this effort.”

Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Dr. David Smith, agreed, noting that “Collaborative partnerships, such as this agreement with VA, help us provide the best possible care to our service members, military family members and retirees who receive health care though the Department of Defense.

VA’s Acting Under Secretary for Health, Dr. Poonam Alaigh, added, “This cooperation between the Air Force and VA reflects our shared commitment to caring for those who serve in our nation’s military, both during their service and beyond. We are pleased to establish this partnership.”

The collaborative effort is a result of a 2015 DoD-VA Health Care Sharing Incentive Fund, also known as the Joint Incentive Fund (JIF) project. JIF was authorized by Congress as part of the 2003 National Defense Authorization Act. The intent of JIF is to facilitate mutually beneficial exchanges of health-care resources between DoD and VA, with the goal of improving access to high-quality and cost-effective health care.


Veterans Matter Program and VA Announce Milestone of Helping 1,500 Homeless Veterans Secure Stable Housing

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department Veterans Affairs (VA) and Veterans Matter — a program that provides security deposits to homeless Veterans in 14 states and the District of Columbia — today announced that, through their joint efforts, they have helped 1,500 Veterans exit homelessness and move into permanent housing.

Veterans Matter, supported by John Mellencamp, Dusty Hill, Katy Perry, Kid Rock and many others in the entertainment industry, was established in 2012 by the Toledo, Ohio-based nonprofit 1Matters.org, and focuses exclusively on providing security deposits to homeless Veterans who qualify for rental subsidies from the joint U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program. In providing these security deposits, Veterans Matter removes a major barrier to securing stable housing for homeless Veterans.

“VA can’t end Veteran homelessness alone,” said Anthony Love, senior adviser and director of community engagement for the Veterans Health Administration Homeless Programs Office. “Partnerships with innovative, community-oriented groups, such as Veterans Matter, have played a major role in the decline in Veteran homelessness in recent years.”

“In collaboration with VA, we are able to make a greater impact for homeless Veterans than we could on our own,” said Ken Leslie, who founded Veterans Matter and was once homeless himself.

Once Veterans are housed through the HUD-VASH program, VA case managers can connect them to other supportive services — such as employment assistance, health care, mental health treatment and substance use counseling — to help them recover and improve their ability to stay housed.

Based on data released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2016, since 2010, there has been an estimated 47 percent reduction in homelessness among Veterans across the country. Further, HUD said, between 2015 and 2016 alone, the number of homeless Veterans decreased by 17 percent. In addition, of all VA homeless programs that assist Veterans, HUD-VASH assists the largest number of Veterans who have experienced long-term or repeated homelessness. And of those Veterans in the program, 91 percent remain housed. The program has allocated more than 88,000 housing vouchers nationwide to date">Veterans Matter — a program that provides security deposits to homeless Veterans in 14 states and the District of Columbia — today announced that, through their joint efforts, they have helped 1,500 Veterans exit homelessness and move into permanent housing.

Veterans Matter, supported by John Mellencamp, Dusty Hill, Katy Perry, Kid Rock and many others in the entertainment industry, was established in 2012 by the Toledo, Ohio-based nonprofit 1Matters.org, and focuses exclusively on providing security deposits to homeless Veterans who qualify for rental subsidies from the joint U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program. In providing these security deposits, Veterans Matter removes a major barrier to securing stable housing for homeless Veterans.

“VA can’t end Veteran homelessness alone,” said Anthony Love, senior adviser and director of community engagement for the Veterans Health Administration Homeless Programs Office. “Partnerships with innovative, community-oriented groups, such as Veterans Matter, have played a major role in the decline in Veteran homelessness in recent years.”

“In collaboration with VA, we are able to make a greater impact for homeless Veterans than we could on our own,” said Ken Leslie, who founded Veterans Matter and was once homeless himself.

Once Veterans are housed through the HUD-VASH program, VA case managers can connect them to other supportive services — such as employment assistance, health care, mental health treatment and substance use counseling — to help them recover and improve their ability to stay housed.

Based on data released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2016, since 2010, there has been an estimated 47 percent reduction in homelessness among Veterans across the country. Further, HUD said, between 2015 and 2016 alone, the number of homeless Veterans decreased by 17 percent. In addition, of all VA homeless programs that assist Veterans, HUD-VASH assists the largest number of Veterans who have experienced long-term or repeated homelessness. And of those Veterans in the program, 91 percent remain housed. The program has allocated more than 88,000 housing vouchers nationwide to date.

UPDATE

Veterans Matter is a program of 1Matters.org, the Toledo, OH, non-profit sparked and supported by singer John Mellencamp and others in the music industry. 1Matters creates and funds the startup of new local and regional initiatives to move people to financial and domestic autonomy. Veterans Matter is the organization’s first national program and has organically grown to house over 1,500 veterans in 14 states.