VAPORHCS Veteran Connection Winter 2019 Newsletter - VA Portland Health Care System
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VA Portland Health Care System

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VAPORHCS Veteran Connection Winter 2019 Newsletter

Winter 2019 Veteran Connection is here!

Click on the link below to see to full newsletter.

By VAPORHCS Public Affairs
Tuesday, February 5, 2019

(Click HERE to see to entire Winter 2019 Veteran Connection.)

In this issue...

  • New Simulation Training Center at PVAMC

  • New Vancouver Specialty Care Clinic is now open

  • Veteran thanks VA Laboratory and Hematology teams for saving his life

  • Upcoming Veterans Listening Session and VBA Claims Clinics

  • Preventing suicide - you can make a difference

  • MISSION Act of 2018 update

  • Managing Chronic Pain and Suffering:  A Whole Health Resource Workshop

  • NAMI Homefront  - starting February 12; a six-session class for family, friends, significant others of Veterans, and Military Service Members with mental health conditions

  • Self Referral now offered for Podiatry, Nutrition Services, and Amputee/Wheelchair Clinics

Message from the VAPORHCS Director

Since reporting to the VA Portland Health Care System in November Since reporting to the VA Portland Health Care System in November 2018, I have been  impressed with the cadre of  committed professionals who work at our facilities to care for the equally impressive Veterans in the Pacific Northwest.

VAPORHCS has a proud history of providing state of the art high quality care.  Through our world class transplant programs, we care for Veterans from all parts of this great nation.  I am exceedingly proud to be a part of this team of professionals and honored to uphold the commitment to care for my fellow Veterans.  We are an organization that is focused on continuous improvement and very much want to know when we have missed the mark.  I invite Veterans to be a part of improving their VA.  I encourage you, to provide feedback on how we can continue to improve and meet your needs.  There are multiple ways you can do this. 

• I invite all Veterans to attend one of the ‘Veteran Listening Sessions.’  These events are throughout the year in a variety of locations (see page 5 for details).

• When you receive patient surveys in the mail or email, please complete the survey.  I really do see the survey results and the information is used to help us improve.  If you have an email, please provide that information at your next clinic appointment and we will add you to our email survey list.  Additionally, you can receive updates on happenings at your VA.

• I invite Veteran Service Officers and representatives for Veteran Service Organizations to join the Portland VA VSO Committee. Monthly meetings are hosted by Portland Regional Benefits Office, Willamette National Cemetery, Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs, and VAPORHCS to provide important program changes and updates.  This is a great opportunity to learn valuable information about what is happening in the VA that will be helpful to the Veterans you represent.  To join the VSO Committee, please contact my Public Affairs Office at

• I welcome hearing from Veterans in writing as well.  You can connect with me by sending an email through my Public Affairs Office ( or write me a letter; VAPORHCS, Attn. Director, 3710 SW U.S. Veterans Hospital Rd. Portland, OR 97239

The number one priority of VAPORHCS is the Veterans who depend on us for their health care.  With the over 4,000 VAPORHCS employees, I am committed to making your VA the best it can be by focusing our efforts on:

• Improving Customer Service (Veteran Experience),

• Implementing the MISSION Act,

• Ending Veteran Suicide, and

• Increasing Veteran Access to Care

The MISSION Act will be a seismic change to how Veterans access care in the community. It provides Veterans with better options to access care in a more streamlined and less confusing way.  We are just starting to learn the details about how this program will be implemented and this information will be shared widely.  As we get closer to implementation, opportunities will be available for all Veterans to learn more. (See the latest details on page 7.)

It is my distinct honor to serve as the Director of your VA and I know I will work closely with many of you to continue to grow and improve our VA.

Darwin Goodspeed


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