Category Archives: Veterans

Virtual Listening Sessions Planned For Chillicothe VAMC

Presented By McDonald’s, I’m Lovin” It!

( CHILLICOTHE) — The Chillicothe VA Medical Center will hold a virtual listening session with stakeholders on April 12, 2021, at 8:30 a.m. to hear from Veterans and the communities VA serves.

This is one of 50 public virtual listening sessions across the country from March through June 2021 to hear from Veterans on how to design a health care system of the future and grow services for Veterans in a way that reinforces VA’s role as a leader in the U.S. health care system.

“We want to hear from Veterans and other stakeholders in the communities VA serves and understand their vision for VA health care,” said Dr. Kathy Berger, Medical Center Director.  “VA’s goal is to collaborate closely with Veterans and other stakeholders to build the best VA health care system that meets the needs of Veterans today and for generations to come.”

An equitable, high quality, Veteran-centered manner and develop a plan for investing in VA’s aging infrastructure.  The feedback will be used to develop the recommendations VA submits to the Asset and Infrastructure Review (AIR) Commission in January 2022.  The AIR Commission will also conduct public hearings as part of their review of VA’s recommendations before submitting its recommendations to the President and Congress for review and approval in 2023.

To register for the Chillicothe VA’s listening session, please visit https://www.va.gov/HEALTHPOLICYPLANNING/listening.asp. Contact the Public Affairs Office at 740-773-1141, extension 7080, with any questions. 

Chillicothe V.A. Medical Center Serving Multiple Needs & Locations In Southern Ohio

Presented By Atomic Speedway

(CHILLICOTHE) — The Chillicothe VA Medical Center is the provider of choice for military veterans in the Southeastern Ohio region.

Along with a full hospital, the Chillicothe site also offers a wide array of services and specialties, as well as six community clinics. The Chillicothe VA is regularly preparing for disasters- including the transporting of staff and equipment, and working with community partners at the local, regional and national level. As their staff crossed over the one-year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic, they continue to see the impact of this training.

The Chillicothe V.A. Medical Center has had medical personnel and staff deploy all over the country to hotspots to assist with the pandemic as part of VA’s Disaster Emergency Medical Personnel System (DEMPS) and their Fourth Mission responsibility to back up the national health care system. During the past year, Chillicothe staff supported COVID deployments to Long-Term Care Facilities and State Veterans Homes in Hawaii, Maryland, Missouri, and New Jersey. They also supported other VA facilities located in Louisiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Texas. In August and September, staff deployed to Lake Charles, Louisiana to assist with Hurricane Laura recovery operations. The widespread devastation brought to the region by the category 4 hurricane during a worldwide pandemic provided an unprecedented challenge to everyone on the ground.

In December 2020, the Chillicothe VA began a rapid deployment of the COVID-19 Moderna vaccine to high risk Veterans enrolled in VA healthcare utilizing the VA’s Vaccination Plan. The plan and staff, more than 13,200 doses have been administered to Veterans and VA staff to date.

Over the past year, VA staff have continued to provide exceptional healthcare to area Veterans. As part of an online survey, VA Signals, Veterans are asked specifically about their preference in health care. For Fiscal Year 2021 to date (October 1 – now), the Chillicothe VA Veterans rate their trust of the medical center at 93.0%; this is 3.1% above the national average for Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities and 19th in the nation out of 140 facilities.

Enrolled Veterans can schedule a vaccination appointment by contacting the Chillicothe Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center 17273 State Route 104 Chillicothe, Ohio 45601-9718

VA at 740-773-1141, extension 5575, or one of the following VA Clinics. Veterans who have received a vaccination outside of the VA can also call extension 5575 to include in their medical record.

Athens 740-592-7220

Cambridge 740-432-1963

Lancaster 740-653-6145

Marietta 740-568-0412

Portsmouth 740-353-3236

Wilmington 937-382-3949

In order to receive VA health care, Veterans must enroll and meet certain eligibility requirements under current law, which may include income limits. Veterans not enrolled in the VA health care system are encouraged to visit www.chillicothe.va.gov/enrollment.asp to register or call 740-772-7170 with questions.

Veterans can get the latest information and sign up to receive updates on VA’s COVID-19 vaccine webpage (www.va.gov/health-care/covid-19-vaccine/stay-informed) or contact your VA healthcare team.

For more information about the Chillicothe VA, visit our webpage (www.va.gov/chillicothe), follow us on Facebook (facebook.com/ChillicotheVAMC) and twitter (@chillicothevamc).

Additional 200,000 COVID-19 Vaccine Doses Shipped To Chillicothe V.A. Medical Center

Presented By McDonald’s, I’m Lovin’ It!

Building 9 houses the VA Medical Center COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic, Chillicothe, Ohio. Dan Ramey/Litter Media

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care facilities received a one-time supplemental allocation of 200,000 Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses last week from the Department of Health and Human Services.

This distribution is in addition to VA’s normally scheduled delivery of approximately 125,000 doses of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines each week.

“In accordance to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s phased allocation considerations, VA has worked diligently to offer and administer the COVID-19 vaccine as quickly as possible to Veterans who receive care at VA,” said Acting VA Under Secretary for Health, Richard Stone, M.D. “The additional doses will help us to continue reaching our Veterans at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 during this period of limited supply.”

VA facilities already receiving the Moderna vaccine, as well as several new sites, received additional doses last week from the supplemental allocation. VA is currently providing vaccines at more than 215 sites nationally and is reaching out to Veterans who are currently eligible for vaccination.

As of Feb. 10, VA has administered at least one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine collectively to 1,047,187 Veterans, employees and federal partners. VA’s goal is to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to all Veterans who are enrolled and eligible to receive VA health care. Veterans who are not enrolled can learn about eligibility by visiting www.va.gov//health-care/eligibility/.

The Chillicothe VA Medical Center is administering the Moderna vaccine and is currently offering the vaccine to enrolled outpatient Veterans who are 40 years-old and older.  To date, 6,278 employees and Veterans have received the first dose of the vaccine and 3,588 second doses have been given for a total of 9,866 doses administered. 

Learn more about VA COVID-19 vaccines at www.va.gov/health-care/covid-19-vaccine/ or contact your care team.

Enrolled Veterans can call 740-773-1141, extension 5575, to schedule an appointment.  Veterans not enrolled in the VA healthcare system are encouraged to visit www.chillicothe.va.gov/enrollment.asp to register or call 740-772-7170 with questions.

Congressmen Stivers & Wenstrup Meet With Chillicothe VAMC Officials

Presented By McDonald’s, I’m Lovin’ It!

CHILLICOTHE, OHIO – On February 22, the Chillicothe VA Medical Center Director, Dr. Kathy Berger, hosted a visit with Congressman Brad Wenstrup and Congressman Steve Stivers.  Discussions centered on current operations and other potential plans for the future of the Chillicothe facility.  Dr. Berger responded to the congressional questions about services offered at the Chillicothe VA, and questions about the new travel voucher program.

Dr. Berger also shared plans for working with VA market partners in southcentral Ohio, which may enhance/expand services.  Some areas that have proposed changes include additional mental health services and rehab services.  Those proposed changes are currently under review.  Veterans and staff can be assured that the Chillicothe VA remains ready to care for Veterans’ needs.

The COVID vaccination program was also discussed and the facility highlighted its current progress with vaccines being offered at the main campus and Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) locations.

As a healthcare delivery system for Veterans, the Chillicothe VA is committed to continually assessing Veterans’ needs in the 17 counties served and meeting those needs in the most appropriate way possible.  

Chillicothe VA is very appreciative of the continued support of Congressional members and stakeholders and is committed to ongoing communication.

Chillicothe VAMC Continues Improvement On Analytics Scorecard

Presented By McDonald’s, I’m Lovin’ It!

CHILLICOTHE, OHIO – The Chillicothe VA Medical Center (VAMC) has continued to show improvement with the Strategic Analytics for Improvement and Learning Value Model also known as the SAIL report. SAIL is a scorecard that measures, evaluates and benchmarks quality and efficiency at VAMCs across the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).  It is designed for internal comparisons to promote high quality, safe and value-based health care across all its VAMCs. 

VA Medical Center Director, Dr. Kathy Berger, has placed high priority on quality of care outcomes and the Chillicothe VA continues to work at maintaining that high level of value and effectiveness in the quality of healthcare provided.  The Chillicothe VAMC uses the SAIL report to pinpoint strengths and opportunities for improvement. 

The Chillicothe VAMC recently received the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 fourth quarter report on facility performance which shows continued meaningful improvement in overall quality from previous scores in the fourth quarter, FY 2019.  Chillicothe VAMC has continued to sustain improvement in 15 of the 24 metrics and have improved in four metrics moving up from second quintile to first quintile, which is the highest quintile. 

The Chillicothe VAMC continues to work at delivering the highest quality care to the Veterans we serve, and the SAIL report is one tool we use to objectively measure our success.

Please contact the Public Affairs Office at 740-773-1141, extension 7080, with questions or to learn more about the Chillicothe VAMC, visit our webpage (www.va.gov/chillicothe), follow us on facebook (facebook.com/ChillicotheVAMC) and twitter (@chillicothevamc).

Chillicothe VA Voluntary Services Takes Two Top Awards

Presented By Hometown-Motors, Inc.

CHILLICOTHE, OH —The VA Voluntary Service (VAVS) Awards Program is an opportunity to showcase stellar VAVS programs within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA); celebrate accomplishments of VAVS volunteers and community partners who significantly contribute to the mission of VA; and recognize the leadership of the professionals who manage these critical programs that, for the past 75 years, have supplemented the care of our staff and enhanced the healthcare experience for Veterans, their families and caregivers.  The Chillicothe VA was honored this year in receiving two of the coveted 2021 VA Voluntary Service Awards.

World Classic Professional Big Time Wrestling’s Bobby Fulton. Fulton’s wrestling teams perform for the veterans at the Chillicothe VAMC. Photo by Dan Ramey/Litter Media

The Knights of Columbus were awarded the Faith-Based Award.  This award highlights partnerships with local faith-based organizations to provide volunteer support to a local VA facility or health care system.

The Knights of Columbus sponsor the Annual Summer Carnival for the residents at the Chillicothe VA and volunteer time to assist Veterans at the event. For the past several years, they have also sponsored one of the VA’s most successful events, Big Time Wrestling.  This event always brings joy to Veterans as they sit around the “big ring” to watch live wrestling, cheering on the winner and reminisce about wrestling with siblings and friends in their younger days.

“Here at the Chillicothe VA, we are blessed to work with many organizations that make it their mission to cater to the needs of our Veterans. All of them deserve special awards. However, one that sticks out is Knights of Columbus. They are hard-working, dedicated and selfless.” said Heather Murphy, Chief, Voluntary Service.

Knights of Columbus does not just sponsor events, they have over 300 volunteer hours which also involves working with patients in hospice.  It takes a special volunteer to dedicate their time to these men and women at the end of their lives.  Without these types of organizations, our community would lose out on the wonderful opportunities we are able to provide for our deserving Veterans. 

Pictured left to right: Jamie Russell, Harlan Plummer and Heather Murphy, Chief Voluntary Service. Submitted Photo

Mrs. Jamie Russell was named the 2021 Unsung Hero.  This award exemplifies the spirit of the Voluntary Service.  The recipient is a person who, through their hard work and selflessness, goes above and beyond what is asked of them. 

Mrs. Russell is the heart and soul of the Chillicothe VA Voluntary Service.  She began her career with the VA as a Nursing Assistant in March of 1988 and transitioned to Voluntary Service in 2011.  Mrs. Russell brought unmatched knowledge to the service when she arrived, she knew the needs of the patients that called our VA home and knew all of the Veterans by name.  When donors and volunteers first wanted to cater meals for the Community Living Centers, she understood the Veterans wanted food that reminded them of home.  Not only do the Veterans enjoy delicious meals but the conversations held over those meals sharing memories of dinners with their families touch all the donors and volunteers.  Mrs. Russell truly captures the heart of the Veterans.

When conducting volunteer orientations, Mrs. Russell always makes sure the volunteers understand the importance of being a VA volunteer.  She explains the mission of the VA, to fulfill President Lincoln’s promise “To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan” by serving and honoring the men and women who are America’s Veterans. She breaks it down to her version of explaining to the volunteers, they are here to make a difference in a Veteran’s day.

“The success of Voluntary Service is a direct result of the relationships built with volunteers, coworkers, and community partners.” said Murphy, “Jamie was absolutely born to carry out this mission.”

Join the Chillicothe VA as we congratulate and thank these recipients for their hard work and dedication to our Veterans. 

For more information about the Chillicothe VA or how to become a volunteer, visit our webpage (www.va.gov/chillicothe), follow us on facebook (facebook.com/ChillicotheVAMC) and twitter (@chillicothevamc).

Chillicothe VA Director Meets With Congressional Members

Presented By McDonalds, I’m Lovin” It!

On February 1st, the Chillicothe VA Medical Center Director, Dr. Kathy Berger, held a call with Congressman Bill Johnson and a joint call with Senator Sherrod Brown and Senator Rob Portman.  Discussions centered on recent changes in the number of beds as well as other potential plans for the future of Chillicothe.

Dr. Berger responded to the congressional concerns about what services Chillicothe offers, staffing levels and how changes are discussed with stakeholders.   

Dr. Berger also shared plans for transforming other program areas within the Chillicothe VA, which may enhance/expand services and right-size staff with the workload and care being provided.  Some areas that have proposed changes include additional mental health services and rehab services. Those proposed changes are under review currently.

Veterans and staff are being assured by hospital administrators that the Chillicothe VA remains ready to care for Veterans’ needs. As a healthcare delivery system for Veterans, the hospital says they are committed to continually assessing Veterans’ needs in the 17 counties that they serve and meeting those needs in the most appropriate way possible.

The Chillicothe VA works with other VA partners in the south-central Ohio market to ensure that healthcare delivery options are widely available to Veterans, including care coordination across the market, partnership with community providers, maximizing virtual and tele-health options, as well as on site care at our main campus and CBOC locations.

VA Celebrates 75 Years Of Academic Partnerships

Presented by Hometown-Motors, Inc.

The Chillicothe VA Medical Center announced today as part of its 75th anniversary commemoration of academic affiliations that it has trained 2,040 health professionals since 2013.  The facility first started hosting psychiatry residents from Grandview Medical Center in 2011.  In addition to psychiatry residents, the Chillicothe VA Medical Center has hosted pharmacy residents since 2004, psychology interns since 2012, and began its nursing partnership with Hocking College in 1990.

The Chillicothe VA partnerships currently include 50+ affiliates, including Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Adena Health System, Ohio University, The Ohio State University, Ohio Northern University, and University of Cincinnati, primarily in the fields of nursing, medicine, dental and associated health. These future professionals are the Nation’s health care workforce pipeline who will go on to care for Veterans and other patients in urban and rural communities across the U.S.  

The commemoration is part of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) overall 75th anniversary celebration of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) occurring throughout 2021.

“It is an honor to be a part of positive advancements and cutting-edge efforts serving those who served our nation.  The Chillicothe VA takes pride in its local academic partnership and achievements during the past three decades,” said Dr. Kathy Berger, Medical Center Director.

During the pandemic, VA has worked with medical schools and programs across the country to utilize health professions trainees to care for Veterans virtually and in-person while completing their training requirements. The number of physician residents training in VA over the past year increased by more than 2,000 and, according to the American Association of Medical Colleges, applications to medical schools have increased by 18% for the upcoming 2021 academic year.

VA’s academic mission began in 1946 with the adoption of Policy Memorandum No. 2, establishing a remarkable partnership between VA and its academic affiliates. Seventy-five years later, VA provides training to nearly 70% of all U.S. physicians. Approximately 120,000 health professions trainees help care for more than 9 million Veterans at clinical sites around the country.

Affiliated with more than 1,800 academic institutions including 97% of America’s medical schools, VA trains future health professionals in over 40 disciplines including physicians, psychologists, nurses, pharmacists and social workers. For more information about VHA’s 75th anniversary, visit www.va.gov/vha-history.

A Big Day for the Chillicothe VA Bike Program

Presented by Hometown-Motors, Inc.

Congratulations to the Chillicothe VA Bike Program on the shipment of the hand powered bike going to a Veteran who is unable to use his legs.

Click the image to read Joe Laworn’s Facebook post and the story behind the handcycle and the importance of what this day means for Veterans all across America.

Hear Joe Lawhorn’s story of how cycling helped him following a battlefield injury which led to being medically retired by the military.