CAVHCS CONNECTION - CAVHCS Celebrates Veterans Day

Page created by Julia Lambert
CAVHCS CONNECTION - CAVHCS Celebrates Veterans Day

CAVHCS Celebrates Veterans Day
CAVHCS CONNECTION - CAVHCS Celebrates Veterans Day
A LOOK INSIDE:                                                                                                          CAVHCS Offering COVID-19 Booster Shots
CAVHCS Connection                      CAVHCS Offering COVID-19 Booster Shots…………...…..........…..3                                                                                                               You can also receive your booster shot at no
Vol.2,No.4                             Director Message………………………………………………..4-5                                                                                                                                 cost to you outside of VA if you choose.You can
                                       CAVHCS Firefighter Saves Veteran’s Life…………….……….….....6                                                                                                                locate a vaccine site at - Search for
Director                               Columbus VA clinic after Colonel Poydasheff........................................7                                                                                    COVID-19 vaccine locations. Make sure to take
Amir Farooqi, FACHE                    HUD-VASH Program Continues to Change Veteran Lives..............8-9                                                                                                     your CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card
                                       Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness Month......................................10-11                                                                                       when you go! We encourage you to share this
Acting Chief of Staff                  CAVHCS Celebrates Veterans Day .....................................................12-13                                                                               information with your VA health care team.
Randall Weaver, MD                     CAVHCS Holds Homeless Stand Down.................................................. 14
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Booster Shot Eligibility
Deputy Director                        Reach out during the holiday season .…………….…………….15
                                       Clinical Pastoral Education Program...................................................... 16                                                                               For individuals who received a Pfizer-
Valerie Russell, FAC-P/PM, MSM
                                       CAVHCS Prosthetics Team Embraces Technology.............................17                                                                                              BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the
                                       CAVHCS and ASU join to prepare future PT leaders ........................18                                                                                             following groups are eligible for a booster shot at
Associate Director                                                                                                                                                                                             six months or more after their initial series:
                                       CAVHCS and Tuskegee University collaborate...................................19
Prudence Howard, MAS
                                       Disabilities Caused by Military Service.................................................. 20                                                                              •   65 years and older
Associate Director                     Happy Holidays..............................................................................................21
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 •   Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings
Patient Care Services                  Community Partner Donations......................................................... 22-23
Laundrena LaPradd-Bradley, MHA, BSN,                                                                                                                                                                             •   Age 18+ who have underlying medical
                                                                                                                                                         By Tramel Garrett, CAVHCS Public Affairs                    conditions

                                                                                                                                                                he Centers for Disease Control and               •   Age 18+ who work or live in high-risk
Public Affairs Officer                                                                                                                                                                                               settings
                                                                                                                                                                Prevention (CDC) identified and
Sheila Marie Austin
                                                                                                                                                                recommended several groups of people             For people who received a Johnson &
                                                                                                                                                        who should get a COVID-19 booster. Following           Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, booster shots are
Follow us on                                                                                                                                                                                                   recommended for those who are 18 and older
                                                                                                                                                        this expanded guidance from CDC, VA can provide
Facebook:                                                                                                                                               booster shots at sites offering Moderna and J&J/       and who were vaccinated at least two months                                                                                                                               Janssen COVID-19 vaccines, as supply and               ago.
VACentralAlabama/                                                                                                                                       capacity permits.                                         VA is also offering the booster to Veterans,
                                                                                                                                                           CAVHCS is administering the Moderna and J&J/        their spouses, caregivers and CHAMPVA
                                                                                                                                                        Janssen COVID-19 booster shots. Call us at 866-        recipients under the authority of the SAVE LIVES
                                                                                                                                                        601-1079 to schedule an appointment and our staff      Act, as supply and capacity permits. The Save
                                                                                                                                                        will help you find a time that’s convenient for you.   Lives Act authorizes VA to offer vaccines to
                                                                                                                                                        Vaccinations at our Community Based Outpatient         Veterans not traditionally eligible for VHA care
                                                                                                                                                        Clinics are by appointment only. Appointments          and others, including spouses and caregivers of
                                                                                                                                                        are preferred; however, you can walk-in at our         Veterans.
                                                                                                                                                        designated locations.                                     Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine
                                                                                                                                                        Walk-in times and locations:                           they receive as a booster dose. Some people
                                                                                                                                                                                                               may prefer the vaccine type they initially received
                                                                                                                                                        MVAC COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic                       and others may prefer to get a different booster.
                                                                                                                                                        Tuesdays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. (CT)                    CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type
                                                                                                                                                                                                               of mix and match dosing for booster shots.
                                                                                                                                                        Location: Montgomery VA Clinic (off Chantilly             If you’re not currently receiving health care
                                                                                                                                                        Parkway)                                               through VA, find out if you’re eligible and apply
                                                                                                                                                        8105 Veterans Way, Montgomery, Alabama.                now at this link
                                                                                                                                                                                                               how-to-apply/. This will shorten you waiting time
                                                                                                                                                        Tuskegee Campus COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic            during the vaccination clinics.
                                                       Act with high moral principle.
                                                       Adhere to the highest professional standards.                                                    Wednesdays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. (CT)
                                                       Maintain the trust and confidence of all with whom I
                                                                                                                                                        Location: Tuskegee Campus
                                                                                                                                                        2400 Hospital Road, Tuskegee, Alabama (Building
   2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           3
CAVHCS CONNECTION - CAVHCS Celebrates Veterans Day
From the Director
                                                             where we all learned a lot. There was some great          members from the community who donated                  and Surgery Residency (PMSR) and PMSR
                                                             Myth-Busting as well as general information and           their time and services. The Stand Down offered         with a credential in Reconstructive Rearfoot/
                                                             a number of Veterans and their family members             health care screenings, clothing, haircuts,             Ankle Surgery (PMSR/RRA) through 2027!
                                                             were able to get their questions answered.                hygiene items and additional assistance and             This achievement acknowledges CAVHCS
                                                             We were fortunate to have a good number of                information. The event was a true example of            is training at a superior level. For this, we
                                                             CAVHCS Providers, members of the Veterans                 community support for Veterans. The event               acknowledge the important role our Podiatry
                                                             Experience Office as well as other members of             and the partnership we saw is just one more             team plays in training our Nation’s future
                                                             the Public Affairs Office ready to assist. While we       example of how CAVHCS is Rising to be                   health care providers.
                                                             normally hold quarterly Veteran Town Halls, this          Veteran-Centric, as part of our strategic vision.
                                                             one was held specially to support our community           You can see more of this great event in the         •   Early in November the Caregiver Support
                                                             with accurate information from trusted clinical           following WSFA news story: CAVHCS holds                 Program hosted an Annual Resource Fair.
                                                             experts.                                                  Stand Down for Homeless Veterans (            This year’s event was held with special guests
                                                                                                                                                                               from the VA Fiduciary Hub, the Memphis VA
                                                         •   Also in September, in remembrance of the              •   With the end of September came the end of               Caregiver Center, the Montgomery County
                                                             Sept. 11, 2001 terror attack, CAVHCS’ Diversity           National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.            Attorney’s Office and Dementia Friendly
Amir Farooqi, FACHE                                          Committee, in cooperation with Veterans                   Though Suicide Prevention Awareness Month               Alabama. Some of our more vulnerable
Director, Central Alabama Veterans HCS                       Benefits Administration Montgomery Regional               ended, CAVHCS continues its commitment                  Veterans are highly dependent on their
                                                             Office, hosted a 20-Year Commemoration, VA                to #BeThere. There are resources available              Caregivers and we have to make sure that
 A year and a half into COVID-19; Despite the                Remembers service. The moving event honored               to each of us if and when we need them. We              those Caregivers take care of themselves as
 challenges this has presented, Central Alabama              the 2,977 lives lost that fateful day. As part            have also received enormous community                   well as those in their care, so the theme of
 Veterans Health Care System (CAVHCS) has                    of the event, members of CAVHCS, the VBA                  support from members of our Alabama                     “#CaregiverAnd” was an important one.
 forged ahead in its commitment. CAVHCS has                  Montgomery Regional Office and the Montgomery             and Georgia congressional delegations,
 administered over 26.5 thousand COVID-19                    Vet Center shared their experiences memorialized          Veteran service advocates, VA partners and          •   Thanks to the dedication of our Veterans
 vaccines to Veterans in our catchment area and we           in a video that can be viewed on our Facebook             community partners. They all joined CAVHCS              Experience team and others involved,
 have operated with the best interest of our Veterans        page at Patriot Day 20 Year Remembrance.                  to demonstrate their support for Veterans and           CAVHCS now has a mobile app that anyone
 and staff at heart. Working with our new “Safe              CAVHCS team members moderated the service,                you can find their messages on the CAVHCS               can download. This app is a wonderful way
 Normal”, here are a few things CAVHCS has done              the VBA Director Mr. Cory Hawthorne opened                Facebook page.                                          for Veterans to stay up-to-date on events,
 throughout this past quarter.                               sharing his memories and experience from that                                                                     changes and services offered at CAVHCS.
                                                             day and we were led in prayer by CAVHCS’              •   In October, we held our Second Annual Heroes
 •   At the beginning of September, I had the                Chaplains. As I said in my closing comments in            Helping Heroes Food Drive. We have been             Finally, as previously mentioned, CAVHCS strives
     opportunity to interview with WAKA (Alabama             the ceremony, let’s all use this remembrance              fortunate, despite the pandemic and all that        to provide quality care under our new “Safe
     News Network) in reference to a clothing drive          opportunity to ensure that we all, as Americans,          has happened throughout this year, to have a        Normal”. With this, we now not only offer the
     hosted later that month by our Center for               continue to come together for our Nation, for each        source of income to provide for our families.       COVID-19 vaccine, but we are also administering
     Development and Civic Engagement (CDCE)                 other and for our Veterans.                               But not all our Veterans have had it so good.       booster vaccines. Additionally, Veterans can also
     formerly known as Voluntary Service. Given                                                                        The CAVHCS annual food drive is a chance for        get their Influenza vaccine. With the holidays
     summer was coming to its end, the clothing drive    •   Additionally in the month of September, we had            us to give back to our Veterans and help those      coming up soon, we all want to be sure to
     was intended to provide warmth and support to           a Homeless Stand Down with a whole lot of                 that may need some assistance at this time.         safeguard ourselves and our loved ones. So, be
     some of our most vulnerable Veterans during the         vulnerable Veterans served and our community              Thanks to the staff, we ended the food drive        sure to stop by and get your vaccines!
     approaching cold weather.                               and VA partners coming together to help them              with a collection of approximately 2508.9 lbs. of
                                                             through these challenging times. Tuskegee                 food which will be made available to vulnerable
 •   Later in September we held a special                    Mayor the Honorable Lawrence Haygood, read                Veterans in our catchment area.
     “COVID-19: Ask the Experts” Veteran Town                a proclamation for the day from the Tuskegee
     Hall, virtually. This town hall provided Veterans       City Council; the Director of the Montgomery          •   Additionally in October, we received notification
     the opportunity to get answers to questions             VBA Regional Office and members of his team               from the Council on Podiatric Medical
     in reference to COVID-19. An informative                were also on site assisting with claims; we were          Education (CPME) that CAVHCS had been fully                                    Amir Farooqi, FACHE
     discussion was had on COVID and the vaccine             also joined by our Vet Center partners and other          approved to continue our Podiatric Medicine                 Director, Central Alabama Veterans HCS

CAVHCS CONNECTION - CAVHCS Celebrates Veterans Day
President Biden signs bill naming new
                                                                                                                   Columbus VA clinic after Robert S.

CAVHCS Firefighter Saves Veteran’s Life
By Tramel Garrett, CAVHCS Public Affairs                   Smith explained to Simmons that he entered

                                                        traffic dangerously, but Simmons didn’t realize what
    t was a hot and sunny afternoon and Capt.
                                                        happened. Smith felt positive that Simmons wasn’t        By Tramel Garrett, CAVHCS Public Affairs
    Robert Smith, a firefighter for the Central
                                                        under the influence of drugs or alcohol and worried

    Alabama Veterans Health Care System, pulled
                                                        for his safety.                                                 resident Biden signed the bill into law         private practice law firm. He served as a city
over to the side of the road to safely connect his
                                                          Smith asked if he could call someone, which led to            on Nov. 12, naming the new Columbus,            councilman from 1994 to 2002 and served as
Bluetooth to his car.
                                                        him speaking to Simmons’s daughter on the phone.                Georgia, VA clinic after Colonel Robert         mayor from 2003 to 2007.
  He notices an older gentleman pulling up behind                                                                S. Poydasheff, a retired Army Colonel and former
                                                           “Captain Smith felt like my father was experiencing                                                            This clinic will provide the most significant
him. It was Navy Veteran Walter J. Simmons who                                                                   Columbus Mayor.
                                                        some sort of medical problem which was interfering                                                              number of enrolled Veterans with the closest
asked him for directions. Smith noticed Simmons
                                                        with his ability to drive,” Brown said.                      The Robert S. Poydasheff VA Clinic is located at   geographic access to services.
was using a printed map, which was unclear, so he
                                                                                                                 6910 River Road, Columbus, Georgia. This 55,000           Services Provided at Robert S. Poydasheff
wrote some new, more precise directions.                   After a brief conversation with Brown, Simmons        square foot clinic will replace the Community Based    VA Clinic (Estimated): Social Work Service,
   Smith wanted to ensure Simmons didn’t get lost       agreed to ride with Smith to visit the Montgomery        Outpatient Clinic located on 13th Street. The clinic
                                                        VA hospital. Brown states Smith’s action saved her                                                              Clinical Pharmacy, Whole Health Coach,
so the gentlemen exchanged phone numbers. Then                                                                   was awarded to developers in Jan. 2020, with the
                                                        father’s life and perhaps the lives of others after VA                                                          Primary Care, Center for Development and Civic
something troubling happened. Smith observed that                                                                first use expected in spring/summer of 2022.
                                                        discovered some serious medical conditions.                                                                     Engagement (Volunteer Services), Women’s
Simmons did not safely enter the highway. Multiple
                                                                                                                    Poydasheff was a native of Bronx, New York          Health, Mental Health, Audiology, Dental,
cars had to swerve to prevent a collision on the busy     “Captain Smith’s observations that day may have        and completed his B.A. in Political Science from       Optometry, Physical and Occupational Therapy,
interstate.                                             saved lives and it may have added some time to           the Citadel and was commissioned as a Second           Prosthetics, Radiology, Beneficiary Travel,
  “After my dad proceeds down the interstate, Capt.     my father’s life so that appropriate treatments may      Lieutenant in 1954. He earned his Juris Doctorate      Podiatry, Teleretinal, Telederm, TeleNeurology,
Smith noticed that my dad’s driving would likely        begin,” said Brown.                                      from Tulane University in 1957 and an M.A. in          TeleTraumatic Brain Injury, Patient Advocate,
result in an accident,” said Diane Brown, daughter of      In a letter addressed to the CAVHCS Fire Chief,       International Relations at Boston College in 1967.     Biomedical Engineering, Sterile Processing
Simmons.                                                Brown explained that first responders often put their                                                           Services, Police Services, Logistics Services and
                                                                                                                    He served in the U.S. Army for 24 years retiring
  Smith sprang into action and motioned for             lives on the line to help others and she wanted to       at the rank of Colonel. The Vietnam Veteran            Chaplain Services.
Simmons to pull over.                                   ensure that Smith’s heroic act didn’t go unnoticed.      began his career as an Infantry Officer and later
   “I discovered that something just wasn’t right at        “I feel great about possibly saving someone’s        transferred to the Judge Advocate General Corps.
the moment, so I asked him if he was feeling OK,”       life. I think that’s what we are supposed to do as         After military retirement, Poydasheff made
Smith said.                                             firefighters. We are public servants,” Smith said.       Columbus, Georgia, his home and began his
CAVHCS CONNECTION - CAVHCS Celebrates Veterans Day
CAVHCS HUD-VASH Program Continues to
Change Veteran Lives
 By Tramel Garrett, CAVHCS Public Affairs

          AVHCS, continues to improve the lives          Individuals who are not eligible for HUD-VASH    programs that could assist with housing,                 Should you know of homeless Veterans
          of Veterans by offering services that can   are those individuals that are registered sex       medical and psychological support,” said              seeking housing resources, services are
          make a difference in their wellbeing.       offenders or have a conviction for manufacturing    Sherrell-Thompson.                                    available via a walk-in clinic in Tuskegee,
  One of these programs is the Housing & Urban        methamphetamines.                                      Homelessness among our Nation’s Veterans           Alabama and Columbus, Georgia, Monday-
Development/VA Supportive Housing (HUD-                  “Homeless Veterans are a vulnerable              is declining in most communities but there is still   Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
VASH) program, which assists Veterans who may         population and offering services that can make      work to be done to ensure that every Veteran has        “If a landlord is interested in helping homeless
be vulnerable and often has severe mental and         a difference to their health and wellbeing is a     a place to call home.                                 Veterans, they can reach out to the CAVHCS
physical health problems.                             top priority of CAVHCS,” said Health Care for          “One of the challenges that homeless Veterans      homeless program at 334-727-0550, extension
    “HUD/VASH is important because not only           Homeless Veterans Program Manager Jakia             are facing at this time during the pandemic is        52549 and ask to speak with the HUD-VASH
does the program provide Veterans with a home,        Sherrell-Thompson.                                  locating affordable housing. A top priority for       supervisor,” said Sherrell-Thompson.
it also provides them with pride, accomplishment,       This year CAVHCS opened the Columbus              homeless Veterans is secure, safe and clean              Veterans who are homeless or at imminent risk
stability and so much more. I love to see the look    Downtown VA Clinic, which provides a                housing,” Sherrell-Thompson said.                     of homelessness can also contact the National
on Veterans’ faces when they sign their lease and     comprehensive response to get homeless                 Currently, CAVHCS works with seven public          Call Center for Homeless Veterans at (877) 4AID-
are given the keys to their new place,” said HUD-     Veterans the assistance they need, including safe   housing authorities: South Central Alabama,           VET (877-424-3838) for assistance.
VASH Supervisor LeJasmine Gary.                       housing.                                            Montgomery, Tuskegee, Auburn, Opelika, Phenix
   The HUD-VASH program partners with the                We also held a Homeless Stand Down               City and Columbus, Georgia.
local housing authority, which provides rental        for more than 100 homeless Veterans at its            The difference between HUD-VASH and
assistance vouchers for privately-owned housing.      Tuskegee Campus.                                    housing choice vouchers offered for non-
   To be eligible, a Veteran has to be homeless or      “The Stand Down focused on both community         Veterans is that on the HUD-VASH program,
at imminent risk of being homeless and meet the       agencies resources and VA. However, based           Veterans are provided case management and
income requirements, depending on the Public          on the pandemic this year, CAVHCS focused           support from the HUD-VASH team to include
Housing Authority housing.                            on ensuring that Veterans had access to VA          medical, emotional, and social support.                                                                    9
CAVHCS CONNECTION - CAVHCS Celebrates Veterans Day
CAVHCS Conducts walk for Breast Cancer
 Awareness Month

CAVHCS team members participate in the Montgomery Breast Cancer Walk on Oct. 15 to raise breast       A breast cancer awareness walk was also conducted on the Tuskegee campus, highlighting all the resources
cancer awareness. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women and is the second leading   available to our Women Veterans.
cause of cancer death in women.

By Tramel Garrett, CAVHCS Public Affairs

                                                                                                         “VA leads the nation’s health care systems in
          AVHCS encouraged women Veterans                                                              providing mammograms to those who need them,”
          to get screened for breast cancer with a                                                     said Dr. Rickiya Williams, Women Veterans Program
          Breast Cancer Awareness Walk across                                                          Manager/Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner.
multiple facilities.
                                                                                                         “Every VA medical center has a Women Veterans
   Breast cancer is the second most common cancer                                                      Program Manager to ensure women Veterans have
in women and is the second leading cause of cancer                                                     access to appropriate care and treatment,” Williams
death in women. Localized breast cancer has a 99%                                                      added.
survival rate if detected early.                                                                          Breast care resources available through VA
   “VA encourages all women Veterans to speak                                                          include screening and diagnostic mammograms,
with their health care providers about breast health                                                   breast ultrasound and MRI, genetic counseling and
and get checked and treated for breast cancer,” said                                                   testing, cancer treatment and more.
Health System Director Amir Farooqi.                                                                      VA recommends regular breast cancer screening
   “We recognize that some Veterans may have                                                           for women who are 45 years of age and older,
missed their regularly scheduled mammogram due                                                         though some women may choose to start screening
to COVID-19 and encourage women Veterans to                                                            with yearly mammograms as early as age 40.
reach out to their VA health care provider to get one                                                  Women should talk with their VA primary care
scheduled,” Farooqi added.                                                                             provider team about what is best for them and
   During Breast Cancer Awareness Month and                                                            schedule their mammogram.
throughout the year, CAVHCS offers high-quality                                                          For more information, visit
women’s health care, including breast care services.                                                   central-alabama-health-care/.

CAVHCS CONNECTION - CAVHCS Celebrates Veterans Day
CAVHCS Celebrates Veterans Day

     n 1918 on the 11th hour, the 11th day of the 11th
     month, Germany signed a peace agreement that
     ended all hostilities of World War I. It was once
called Armistice Day and is now more commonly
known as Veterans Day. To celebrate this year, the
U.S. Army Field Band Jazz Ambassadors performed
New Orleans-style jazz to our Community Living
Center Veterans.
  Veterans Day is about remembering and
recognizing our nation’s Veterans—those men and
women who fought our nation’s wars and defended
us during the periods of restless peace between
   The sacrifices of uniformed Servicemembers have
allowed our nation to grow and flourish for more than
245 years since the Continental Congress adopted
the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.
   We’ll ensure Veterans have timely access to VA
resources— whether in their homes, through our
caregivers’ programs and telehealth, at a VA facility,
or in their communities. VA will continue to build a
cutting-edge electronic health records system that
allows Veterans to seamlessly access their records
wherever they receive care, from the first day they
put on their uniforms to the last day of their lives.
    12                                                   Photos By Robin Johnson, CAVHCS Public Affairs   13
CAVHCS CONNECTION - CAVHCS Celebrates Veterans Day
CAVHCS Holds Homeless Stand Down                                                                                CAVHCS encourages everyone to reach
                                                                                                                out during the holiday season
                                                     “In past years, the Stand Down focused on both          By Tramel Garrett, CAVHCS Public Affairs
                                                   community agencies resources and VA. However,

                                                   based on the pandemic this year, CAVHCS focused                     A’s top priority is to prevent suicide among      CAVHCS must ensure our Veterans know that
                                                   on ensuring that Veterans had access to VA                          Veterans, whether or not they receive care     reaching out for mental health information and
                                                   programs that could assist with housing, medical                    from within the VA health care system.         support is just as important as talking to their
                                                   and psychological support,” Sherrell-Thompson said.       During this holiday season, if you see a Veteran who     providers about diet, blood pressure, joint pain and
                                                   “Another important aspect of the Stand Down is                                                                     other health challenges.
                                                                                                             appears to be lost, lonely, or depressed, please take
                                                   Veterans have an opportunity to fellowship and be a                                                                   VA also has resources to help Veterans
                                                                                                             action by getting personally involved. As leaders,
                                                   support to one another.”                                                                                           transitioning from the military or going through a
                                                                                                             supervisors, friends and family members, it is
                                                      “Seeing all the smiling faces and the Vets out here    imperative that you speak up and reach out if you        difficult time in life. VA Solid Start connects Veterans
                                                   together, a lot of camaraderie. The volunteer services    notice the presence of any warning signs.                with qualified representatives who call three
                                                   and the great big heart of the community have helped                                                               times during a Veteran’s first year of separation
                                                   so much. It’s been amazing,” Army Veteran Eric Brock         Warning signs include but are not limited to          to walk through the benefits available. The Self-
                                                   said.                                                     withdrawing from family or friends, a drastic shift      Check Assessment is a confidential, anonymous
By Tramel Garrett, CAVHCS Public Affairs
                                                      “One of the challenges that homeless Veterans          in mood, an increase in drug or alcohol use, rage        risk assessment Veterans can use to help them

          entral Alabama Veterans Health Care      are facing at this time during the pandemic is locating   or anger, hopelessness, feeling like a burden, and       understand if and how stress and depression affect
          System held a Homeless Stand Down        affordable housing. A top priority for homeless           talking about death, dying or suicide.                   them.
          for more than 100 homeless Veterans      Veterans is secure, safe and clean housing,” Sherrell-       “VA reaffirmed our commitment to addressing              Remember, let Veterans who are in crisis or
at its Tuskegee Campus on Sept. 17.                Thompson said.                                            mental health misconceptions and the stigma              having thoughts of suicide, and those who know
   “Stand down is important based on                  VA has a permanent housing program – HUD-VASH          that many Veterans associate with mental health          a Veteran in crisis, know to contact the Veterans
Veterans being provided with a broad range of      that partners with the local housing authority. HUD       symptoms, conditions and treatments,” said Health        Crisis Line for confidential crisis intervention and
necessities to include food, clothing, medical,    provides rental assistance vouchers for privately-        Care System Director Amir Farooqi.                       support available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,
legal and mental health assistance,” said          owned housing for Veterans. If a landlord is interested                                                            365 days a year. Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press
                                                                                                                CAVHCS invited community leaders to give a
Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV)           in helping homeless Veterans, they can reach out to                                                                1, text 838255, or chat online at https://www.
                                                                                                             message of hope to our Veterans during this very
Program Manager, Jakia Sherrell-Thompson.          the CAVHCS homeless program at 334-727-0550,                                                             
                                                                                                             challenging time during a pandemic and the events
“Veterans also have an opportunity to access       extension 52549, and ask to speak with the HUD-           relating to Afghanistan.                                    Veterans don’t have to be enrolled in VA health
shelter during the Stand Down with the goal of     VASH supervisor.                                                                                                   care or registered with VA to use the Veterans Crisis
obtaining permanent housing.”                                                                                   The #YourCommunityCares campaign featured
                                                     “Stand Down aims to bring together various                                                                       Line.
                                                                                                             the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs,
   The annual event offered food, clothing,        agencies and service providers to provide                 Veterans Benefits Administration, members of
toiletries, haircuts, flu vaccinations, health     comprehensive services/resources that encourage           Alabama and Georgia congressional delegations
care screenings, legal counseling and job          and assist homeless Veterans in overcoming the            and the Montgomery Vet Center joined CAVHCS to
assistance for homeless Veterans in Central        barriers that led to them becoming homeless,”             demonstrate their support for Veterans in September
Alabama and Western Georgia. All VA facilities     Sherrell-Thompson said.                                   during Suicide Prevention Month.
and clinics that administer COVID-19 vaccines        CAVHCS HCHV program is grateful for the
accept walk-ins for all Veterans, spouses, and                                                                 You can view their messages here CAVHCS
                                                   support of individuals with the same goal to eliminate    Facebook page.
caregivers. This walk-in service ensures all       homelessness among Veterans.
Veterans enrolled in VA health care and those                                                                   “I have no doubt that Veterans are driven and
authorized under the SAVE LIVES Act have an           Should you know of homeless Veterans seeking           resilient, but everyone needs help sometimes,” said
opportunity to receive a COVID-19 vaccination      housing resources, services are available via a walk-in   Farooqi. “We understand this has been a challenging
from VA at a time convenient for them.             clinic in Tuskegee, Alabama and Columbus, Georgia,        year, so, whether Veterans are looking for peer-to-
                                                   Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.                    peer support, clinical care, counseling or something
   Homeless Veterans are a vulnerable
population and offering services that can make        Veterans who are homeless or at imminent risk          else, VA along with our community resources are
a difference to their health and well-being is a   of homelessness can also contact the National Call        here to help.”
top priority of CAVHCS.                            Center for Homeless Veterans at (877) 4AID-VET
                                                   (877-424-3838) for assistance.

    14                                                                                                                                                                                                                   15
CAVHCS CONNECTION - CAVHCS Celebrates Veterans Day
CAVHCS Clinical Pastoral Education                                                                           CAVHCS Prosthetics Team Embraces
  Training Program                                                                                             Technology with Charleston VA in 3-D
                                                                                                               Printing Project
                                                      minister. From theological reflection on specific
                                                      human situations, they gain a new understanding of
                                                                                                                                                                           “We are currently still in the trial-and-error
                                                      ministry. Within the interdisciplinary team process of
                                                                                                                                                                        phase. But as of now, this process will allow us
                                                      helping persons, they develop skills in interpersonal
                                                                                                                                                                        to expedite wait times for Veterans waiting for
                                                      and interprofessional relationships.
                                                                                                                                                                        their prosthesis. The biggest pro of this project is
                                                         CPE provides an opportunity to learn the art                                                                   that because we are working from VA to VA we
                                                      of spiritual healing from caring mentors, to learn                                                                are not incurring additional outside costs,” said
                                                      about yourself through rewarding service in the                                                                   Williams.
                                                      atmosphere of an acute-care hospital.
                                                                                                                                                                           The trial process consists of taking a 3-D
                                                        CAVHCS Clinical Pastoral Education program is                                                                   scan of the limb needing a prosthesis, uploading
                                                      accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral                                                               the scan to the computer, sending the scan to
                                                      Education, Inc. 55 Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard, Suite                                                                the printer. The engineer in Charleston prints
                                                      835, Atlanta, Georgia 30308 (404) 320-1472. www.                                                                  the prosthesis and mails it to Central Alabama,
                                                                                                                                                      a process that takes weeks when an external
                                                         The heart of CPE is in ministry with patients                                                                  vendor is involved. By doing this from VA to VA,
                                                      who are veterans, their families, staff, and learning                                                             the prothesis can be scanned, prepared and
                                                      from that ministry through reflection, discussion,                                                                shipped within days instead of weeks.
                                                      and evaluation with other students and a Certified                                                                   “For CAVHCS, one of our long-term goals is to
                                                      educator.                                                                                                         be able to 3-D print definitive sockets for patients
                                                         CPE students utilize verbatims, case studies and                                                               in-house in under a week turn-around time,” said
                                                      other ministry descriptions to present their ministry                                                             Beitenman.
By Chaplain Rose S. Bryan                             for supervision. The focus in some seminars will                                                                     In 2020, Veterans Health Administration
                                                      be on what is happening to the student and what                                                                   (VHA) Innovations launched the Agile Design

      am Chaplain Rose S. Bryan, the new clinical     is happening to the patients, families and staff                                                                  and Product Transformation (ADAPT) Initiative.
      chaplain and certified educator for the         receiving ministry.                                                                                               Because of the advancements in the printing
      Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program at       Each CPE unit at CAVHCS requires 100 hours                                                                     process, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the
CAVHCS. I’m a board-certified chaplain with the       of educational time and 300 hours of clinical time,      By Maria Vinson, CAVHCS Public Affairs                   Charleston VA was selected as 1 of 3 national
Association of Professional Chaplains and am a        including weekend coverage at least one weekend                                                                   3-D printing hubs to support the country where

certified educator with the Association of Clinical   day each month.                                                       hen Peter Williams, a prosthetist at        the supply chain was experiencing significant
Pastoral Education, Inc. Chaplain participates and                                                                          Central Alabama Veterans Health Care        delays.
                                                         There will be discussions that help in
facilitates the mentoring of students interested                                                                            System, heard about the possibility of         In addition to the projects with CAVHCS,
                                                      understanding theological issues arising from
in becoming confident, competent and effective                                                                 using 3-dimensional printing to fulfill Veteran needs,   Beitenman’s team prints projects for use within
                                                      experience. There will be invaluable opportunities
spiritual care providers.                                                                                      he didn’t let the opportunity pass by.                   their local hospital, VISN and all of VA. Some of
                                                      to gain experience from the behavioral sciences
What is Clinical Pastoral Education?                  while also reflecting theologically, and the student        Williams contacted Nicole Beitenman, the 3-D          the projects include, but are not limited to, dental
                                                      may draw from both in understanding the human            printing initiative leader at the Ralph H. Johnson VA    guards, equipment tags, equipment casings,
   Clinical Pastoral Education is interfaith          condition. CPE students will be challenged to think      Medical Center in Charleston, South Carolina, to         equipment covers, an assortment of wheelchair
professional education for ministry. It brings        about groups and social structures and individuals       begin collaborating.                                     accessories (cup holders, trays, joysticks, etc.),
theological students and ministers of all faiths      in defining their ministry.                                                                                       medical personal protective equipment, testing
                                                                                                                 Beitenman and Williams began generating                supplies and more.
(pastors, priests, rabbis, imams and others) into        Being part of a dynamic learning group with           prosthetics prototypes using 3-D printing technology.
supervised encounters with persons in crisis. Out     other students and a chaplain educator will provide      By doing this, a prosthetic test socket for an
of intense involvement with persons in need, and      opportunities for mutual supervision, caregiving,        amputated patient can be returned to CAVHCS within
the feedback from peers and teachers, students        challenge and appreciation. If you are interested in     48 hours. Previously this process could take up to
develop a new awareness of themselves as              the program, please contact me at 334-727-0550           two weeks.
persons and of the needs of those to whom they        extension 53755.
    16                                                                                                                                                                                                                17
CAVHCS CONNECTION - CAVHCS Celebrates Veterans Day
CAVHCS and ASU join to prepare future                                                                      Central Alabama VA and Tuskegee University
 Physical Therapy leaders                                                                                   collaborate to meet a vital healthcare need

                                                                                                            By Brenda Winston, Chief of CAVHCS Education Service
         entral Alabama Veterans Health Care               •   Undergraduate and graduate social work

         System (CAVHCS) and Alabama State                     trainee programs. Graduate trainees earn a             egistered Nurses are among the               Behavior Health, Acute Care (Medical and
         University (ASU) are collaborating to                 stipend while in the program.                          top Veterans Health Administration           Surgical) and Ambulatory (outpatient) Care.
educate and train future Doctors of Physical               “Resident and intern programs are also a good              mission critical occupations.
Therapy. The 10-year academic affiliation adds                                                                                                                        The outlook is to offer learning programs
                                                         recruiting tool,” said Brenda Winston, chief of       Central Alabama Veterans Health Care                for the nurses in their senior year of study and
another discipline to their existing partnership.        CAVHCS Education Service.                          System and the Tuskegee University School              a mini-nurse residency programs for the new
   The provision of education for future health             “Students who may never have considered a       of Nursing are working together to provide a           baccalaureate graduate. These new programs will
care providers is a VA statutory mission. VA has         career with VA often seek permanent employment     learning environment for the students and fill         offer experiential training to master their skills and
conducted health professions education and               after developing a fondness for our Nation’s       a nursing shortage for VA. The two institutions        increase potential for these nurses to join the VA
training in partnership with affiliated U. S. academic   heroes. And even if they choose a different        have renewed their academic affiliation.               workforce.
institutions for the past 75 years.                      employer, they gain the experience of working         CAVHCS has a long history of providing
   “VA hospitals are an excellent training ground for    with a special population with special needs,”     a clinical environment for the Tuskegee
health professionals, said Amir Farooqi, director of     Winston added.                                     University School of Nursing Baccalaureate
CAVHCS. In fact, almost 70% of physicians in the           CAVHCS also has academic affiliations with:      students. It has provided a training
U.S. have completed at least part of their training                                                         environment for all levels of care from
in VA.”                                                    •   Auburn University
                                                                                                            fundamental nursing to medical and surgical
  Other ASU program partnerships include:                  •   Troy University                              clinicals.
  •   A unique program of Orthotics and                    •   Tuskegee University                             The collaboration expanded as we look
      Prosthetics internships offered by a small           •   University of Alabama Birmingham             forward to offering student-trainee practicums
      number of schools in the country,                    •   Trenholm State Community College             in all clinical sites – Geriatrics, Mental and

      18                                                                                                                                                                                                               19
Happy Holidays

VBA Information-Disabilities Caused
by Military Service
By Wendy Cosby, PAO for VBA Montgomery Regional Office

         he Department of Veterans Affairs                  VA also added 3 new presumptive conditions
         presumes that certain disabilities were         related to particulate matter exposure. The new
         caused by military service because of           presumptive conditions are asthma, rhinitis and
certain unique circumstances of a Veteran’s              sinusitis. To be eligible for benefits, you must
military service. If a presumed condition is             have gotten one of these conditions within 10
diagnosed in a Veteran in a certain group, they          years of your separation from active service.
may be awarded disability compensation. The                 If you have a pending claim for one or
National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal            more of these conditions, you do not need
Year 2021 (NDAA) (H.R.6395) added three new              to do anything. We will send you a decision
conditions to the Agent Orange presumptive-              notice when we complete our review. If you
conditions list.                                         have been previously denied for one of these
   Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange             conditions, VA encourages you to submit a new
may now qualify for benefits for bladder cancer,         claim. For more information about VA benefits
hypothyroidism and Parkinsonism, or Parkinson-           and eligibility, or how to file a claim, Veterans
like symptoms. Veterans and survivors are                and survivors can visit or call
encouraged to submit claims. Veterans and                toll-free at 1-800-827-1000. If you would like
their survivors, who previously filed and were           more information about the Airborne Hazards
denied benefits for one of these new presumptive         and Open Burn Pit Registry, you can read
conditions, will have their cases automatically          more at
reviewed without the need to refile a claim. VA will     AHBurnPitRegistry/#page/home.
send letters to impacted Veterans and survivors.

   20                                                                                                                         21
Community Partner Donations

                                                                                                                                  Community Partner Donations
                              Alabama State Employees' Credit Union donated a variety of snacks for CAVHCS staff. While our                                     VFW Post 1349, Sr. Vice Commander Ron Eggler, Commander Mike Dodge and Lifetime Member
                              team is working hard to take care of Veterans, it is wonderful to get support from our community.                                 Linda Eggler, donated donuts and patriotic pins for Veterans and staff. We thank our Veterans
                              Thank you ASE Credit Union!                                                                                                       Service Organizations who work tirelessly to support Veterans and CAVHCS.

                              CAVHCS leadership accepts a generous donation of 50,000 pairs of socks from Humana and                                            Thank you to Saint James School of Montgomery, Alabama, for your very thoughtful Veterans
             22               Veterans Care Charity. Thank you for your very thoughtful donation for our Veterans.                                              Day Cards for our Veterans.                                                            23
You can also read