Veteran Connection - Summer 2019 - VA Portland Health Care System
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Veteran Connection - Summer 2019

VA Portland Health Care System Veteran Connection Newsletter

VA Portland Health Care System Veteran Connection Newsletter

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

In this issue (Cick here):

  • Health Care System Director's Message
  • MISSION Act Resources and Information
  • - All things VA at your fingertips!
  • Veteran Listening Sessions in The Dalles - July 23; Astoria, July 25
  • VA health care facilities to go smoke-free by Oct. 1
  • Sign up to get email alerts on all things VA Portland
  • Classes, events at VAPORHCS
  • Vancouver VA Campus Construction-related Road Detours & Closures
  • VAPORHCS Summer Garden Social - July 10 @ the Veterans Healing Garden, PVAMC

Director's Message:

On June 6th the MISSION Act was enacted to enhance how Veterans receive and access care in the community.  This is a major change that touches almost every aspect of how care is coordinated in the community.  Access standards have changed and there are many more options for Veterans seeking care now.  There are many  educational materials available at, so I will not dwell on the specific changes of the program.

What I would like to spend some time on is why Veterans should choose VA for their care.  The VA is largest integrated healthcare system in the United States with 146 medical centers and nearly 1,400 community-based outpatient clinics. Together these healthcare facilities and the more than 53,000 independent licensed healthcare practitioners who work within them provide care to more than 8.3 million Veterans each year.  VA often outperforms private healthcare providers in a number of important quality measures.

When a Veteran chooses to have their healthcare provided by the VA, they are getting the highest quality care and the best possible coordination of services.  Too often, healthcare can be fragmented and transactional.  When a Veteran seeks care at the VA, we look at the whole person.  The innovative Whole Health programs offer an approach to healthcare that empowers and equips each individual to take charge of their health and well-being, and to live life to the fullest. Whole Health goes beyond the Veteran’s illnesses, injuries, or disabilities. It focuses on the Veteran’s values and aspiration, health and happiness, and includes self-care and complementary therapies along with conventional medical care.

This approach coupled with strong medical professionals, who ensure every aspect of care is considered, work tirelessly to ensure all care happens in concert and without interruptions.  Even when it is necessary to refer Veterans to care in the community, there is a significant amount of care coordination that occurs to ensure the community provider has access to relevant parts of the health record, laboratory results, radiology images and medications you are taking.  This management effort also ensures medical documentation from your visit to a community provider is pulled into permanent VA records so your medical record is a comprehensive and complete record of care received. 

I encourage all Veterans to Choose VA for your care.  Capitalize on the cutting edge services you have earned and let the committed professionals at the VA care for you.  This will ensure you receive the highest quality care, the best possible outcome and a commitment to helping you live your life to the fullest.

Darwin Goodspeed


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