Santa Maria Sun / News
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 21
Help for our heroes
BY KRISTINA SEWELL
The Department of Veterans Affairs remains on edge, potentially facing cuts in its spending budget this year if Congress can’t agree on a new deficit reduction plan.
Despite the impending slash in funds, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) continues to provide medical and health care to qualified veterans across the United States.
This year marks the third year the greater Los Angeles health-care system has been host to an open house at the Santa Maria community-based outpatient clinic.
Every year in August, qualified veterans have an opportunity to come together to learn about health care, benefits, and local job opportunities.
“The open house is a one-stop shop for veterans in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo [counties],” outreach coordinator Charles Green said in a recent press release. “It’s a win-win for veterans; it’s an opportunity to enroll in health care, meet potential employers, and receive information about VHA programs.”
Veterans have a chance to meet with employers from Okonite, Target, and Vandenberg Air Force Base. VHA physicians, nurses, and social workers are scheduled to meet with veterans and discuss health needs.
“We’re excited to see veterans from the surrounding area,” said Mary Hershey, administration lead for Greater Los Angeles Northern Clinics.
If veterans missed out on this year’s open house event, there are a number of other services provided through the VHA system.
Veterans have access to dental, mental, and women’s health; physical therapy; and the latest addition, Telehealth Medicine. According to Michiko Riley from the Office of Communications and External Affairs for the Department of Veterans Affairs, Telehealth allows veteran patients to consult with doctors out of the area about healthy eating and spinal cord injuries, and offers patient education courses.
For veterans looking to adopt a more healthy and active lifestyle, the VHA can provide patients with a weight management program through MOVE. Designed by the VHA National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, the MOVE program uses group sessions, individually designed weight management plans, lifestyle coaching, and specialty consultations to help veterans get active and healthy.
According to Riley, the Santa Maria clinic is proud to serve veterans and is ready to provide quality medical care to their patients.
“We want to provide excellent health care to veterans as they return to the community,” Riley said.
For more information on services provided for veterans, visit losangeles.va.gov.
Staff Writer Kristina Sewell compiled this week’s Community Corner. Send comments or ideas to the Sun via e-mail at email@example.com.