We have had a lot of changes over the last few months, so this is a long update. I have included several flyers to help communicate programs and upcoming events. We will have a Veteran telephone town hall on Wednesday, February 21 from 5-6 p.m. Each month we call 10,000 of our patients to give them an opportunity to join the town hall. The invitation to the town hall and the call-in phone number will be available on our Facebook closer to the event. Please feel free to subscribe to our Fourteener monthly newsletter at https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USVHA/subscriber/new?topic_id=USVHA_182. While this update is focused on our community partners, that newsletter more broadly goes to patients and anyone who wishes to subscribe. Please feel free to share that link broadly.
Veteran Health Identification Card Renewal
Many Veteran Health Identification Cards (VHIC) were issued in 2014 and those cards are now expiring in 2024. Currently, any Veteran who requests a renewal VHIC within one year of the printed expiration date will be issued a new VHIC with an expiration date 10 years from the date of renewal. Veterans can request a renewal in person or online at https://eauth.va.gov/accessva/#forVeterans. Veterans will need to provide a current photo ID and get a new photo for their renewal ID – full details are available at https://www.va.gov/health-care/get-health-id-card/.
Primary care in Lamar
Nurse Practitioner Barbara Weeds left the Lamar clinic for a new opportunity at the end of December. We now have a provider offering virtual care until we can find a qualified provider to join our team at the Lamar VA Clinic. We know that many Veterans prefer face to face care and we are working as quickly as possible to onboard an in-person provider in Lamar.
On January 2, 2024, the walk-in vaccine clinic located at the Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center closed. Going forward, Veterans will need to contact their primary care team to schedule an appointment for any needed vaccines.
Veteran Resource Navigator
The Veteran Experience Office created a tool that can help Veterans navigate VA resources. The attached document includes websites, phone numbers and QR codes to help locate information about VA programs and services.
National Creative Arts Festival
VA ECHCS and the American Legion Auxiliary will host the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival in Denver in May 2024. The event will take place in several venues in the Denver metro area during the week of May 11 – 18, 2024. Across the country each year, Veterans enrolled at VA health care facilities compete in a local creative arts competition and first place entries are invited to attend the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival. The competition categories include visual arts, writing, as well as the performing arts of dance, drama, and music. Stay tuned for updates on the event.
Castle Rock VA Clinic Groundbreaking
Construction is beginning on a new outpatient clinic in Castle Rock, which will house eight patient-aligned care teams, as well as laboratory and x-ray services. Castle Rock VA Clinic is expected to open in 2025 at 3753 Dacoro Lane in Castle Rock. We will hold a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, February 1, 2024, at noon. Join us to celebrate the kickoff construction of this exciting addition to the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System.
Primary Care appointment scheduling update
Have you heard about VetText, a new way to for Vets to know about sooner Primary Care appointment? Veterans may see texts from VetText (phone # 53079) asking if they would like to reschedule one of their future appointments to an earlier date.
When this happens, other Veterans might also be receiving the same offer.
Vets should respond to the text in one of four ways:
Type “Reschedule.” If the Vet is the first to respond to the reschedule offer, they will get that new appointment, and the one they had before will be cancelled.
Type “Keep” to keep your appointment. If other openings arise to reschedule that appointment, the Veteran won’t be notified.
No response: Vet will continue to receive reschedule offers.
Type “PASS.” That way the Vet won’t get future offers to reschedule.
How can Veterans get a sooner primary care appointment? When Veterans make their appointment, they should tell the scheduler that they would like a sooner appointment if one becomes available. If Veterans want to know more, please have them call (303)-399-8020, Option 2.
Medical Foster Home Program - Openings for Caregivers and Veterans
The Medical Foster Home (MFH) Program provides an alternative to nursing home placement through the collaboration between the veteran and his/her family or legal representative paying for the care, the medical foster home caregivers providing the care and the VHA through the Home-Based Primary Care (HBPC) team providing primary care in the homes. The MFH program is an alternative setting for dependent, chronically or terminally ill veterans with limited family support who prefer a community family setting for their long-term care. The MFH program provides a community-based living arrangement for adults who are unable to live independently because of physical or mental impairments or disabilities. The program provides 24-hour supervision, protection, and personal care in addition to room and board with one-on-one attention provided in a family setting. The MFH program has current openings for Veterans and caregivers. Veterans interested in medical foster home should talk to their primary care team.
Free Virtual Wellness Classes for Employees, Veterans, and Families
SofiaHealth is a virtual wellness offering for Veterans and families to engage with their Whole Health. SofiaHealth offers classes in general health and wellness, yoga and mindful movement, tai chi and qigong, meditation and guided rest - all shown to have benefits on improved sleep, improved health, reduced stress, and more! Classes are live or pre-recorded. Learn more and register at https://www.veteransfirst.sofiahealth.com.
Go Red for Women's Heart Health
Join us on Feb. 9, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in auditorium at Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center for a Women's Healthy Heart Day. Heart disease is the number 1 killer of women and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined. VA and the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women are partnering to raise awareness nationwide. Please join us for an event including stress management, healthy-cooking demos, blood pressure readings and more. See the attached flyer for more information.
VA to award $52.5 million in grants to organizations working to prevent Veteran suicide
Today, VA announced the availability of $52.5 million in grants to community-based organizations that provide or coordinate suicide prevention services for Veterans and their families — including conducting Veteran mental health screenings, providing case management and peer support services, delivering emergency clinical services, reaching out to Veterans at risk of suicide, and more. These grants will be awarded through VA’s Staff Sergeant Parker Gordon Fox Suicide Prevention Grant Program. The Notice of Funding Opportunity provides information about the program, eligibility, and award process. Applications are due by 11:59 pm E.T., April 26 and awards will be granted to eligible entities by Sept. 30, 2024. The funds will be used by the selected organizations in fiscal year 2025. Read the press release for more details.
Korean Ambassador for Peace Medal
Korean War Veterans who served in the Korean War may be eligible for the Korean Ambassador for Peace Medal. This commemorative medal is an expression of appreciation from the Korean government to United States servicemen and women who served in the Korean War. The Ambassador for Peace Medal began to be presented to veterans as a special memento for those of who returned to South Korea through the ‘Revisit Program’. The honor has since expanded to veterans who cannot travel the long journey to Korea. To be eligible, the veterans must have served during the Korean War from June 25, 1950, to July 27, 1953. It is also available for the veterans who have participated in UN peacekeeping operations until the end of 1955. The commemorative medals may be awarded posthumously. However, please understand that the highest priority for presenting the medal is given to veterans who are currently surviving in the United States of America. The next of kin, such as the spouse or descendants may apply for the medal on behalf of a deceased veteran. The Elks Idaho Springs Lodge #607 Veteran Services Team is working closely with the Korean Consul General in San Francisco to bring him to Colorado to present to Korean War Veterans the Ambassador for Peace Medal. The application is attached. Please direct applicants to the Elks at firstname.lastname@example.org.