VA Mid-Atlantic Health Care Network
VISN 6 Strategically Enhances Veterans Health Care
For the last 20 years, VISN 6 staff has worked to effectively meet Veterans’ health needs in an ever-growing, ever-changing environment. At the center of this commitment is the VISN 6 Strategic Plan, which leadership and managers fully support and promote in order to meet the VHA’s mission to honor America’s Veterans by providing exceptional health care that improves their health and well-being.
“Excellent Care, earned by Veterans, Delivered here,” is the VISN’s motto and the life-blood of VISN 6’s plans and operations. We know that Veterans should always receive the quality care they need, when they need it, as close to home as possible. The Strategic Planning Council helps to ensure these ideas and best practices, as well as ensures perceptions of policies and directives are shared uniformly across the network.
It has been essential that VISN and medical center leadership strategically integrate and align services, according to geographically-based Veteran needs and health trends. VISN 6 staff optimizes capabilities by scope, complexity, referral care coordination processes and resource allocation, maximizing timeliness for areas with the most significant need.
For more than 10 years, VISN 6 has built facilities for Veterans to receive primary care closer to home, especially targeting rural areas. As an integrated network, the VISN has been able to leverage equipment and services that optimize usage, transferring their care to appropriate facilities or providers when needed. This is important, because more than 51 percent of Veterans here live in areas considered Rural or Highly Rural. In fact, the VISN has placed dozens of community based outpatient clinics and home based primary care extensions in the areas of greatest need. With more than 40 sites of care, no Veteran in the VISN lives more than an hour’s drive from VA care.
Since 2009 VISN 6 has run a Rural Health program. Funding from the program helped bring services and educational programming to Veterans where they lived. Additionally, these funds supported health education; women’s health; staffing for mobile clinics; telehealth and mental telehealth programs; programs for mental health community outreach, and hearing aid repair.
VISN 6 management is continuously pursuing concepts for improving health care to Veterans that use least complex settings of care, consider value-added partnerships, and are VISN-wide solutions.
“At the center of their care is staff, which engages Veterans in their care decisions through a personalized, proactive, patient-driven health care environment,” said VISN 6 Director Dan Hoffmann. “We also believe that to increase the quality and value of Veteran health care, it is essential the workplace enhances the employees’ morale and well-being.”
Key to this is considering health care providers outside the system as collaborators in Veterans’ health care. VISN 6 and medical center leaders empower staff and partners everywhere to make decisions that are the best decisions for Veterans; building a high-performance healthcare network; using the best healthcare business practices, so Veterans will trust VA to be there when they need care.