Thursday, June 11, 2009

Liaisons Provide Wounded Warriors Smooth Transitions to VA Care

Thursday, June 11, 2009
By Matt Pueschel | FHP&R Staff Writer

A sign of continuing progress toward improved synergy between Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense (DoD) in providing health care to injured service members from Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom can be found in an innovative program that places VA health care liaisons in military treatment facilities (MTFs).

Aimed at helping make the DoD-VA transition and delivery of care smooth and seamless, the program has expanded greatly since it began in 2003.

In a presentation before representatives from several military and veterans service organizations during a meeting hosted by DoD’s Force Health Protection & Readiness office in late May, Kathleen Dinegar, acting national program manager of the VA Liaison Program Care Management and Social Work Service, said the program started six years ago with just one liaison at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. The VA now has 27 full-time social workers and nurses working as liaisons in 13 MTFs. Five additional MTFs with significant numbers of injured service members have been identified for future VA liaison assignments over the next several months. (Continue - Link)

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