New York/New Jersey VA Health Care Network
Pilot Nationally Recognized
Albany Stratton VA Medical Center was recognized nationally by the Department of Veterans Affairs for successfully piloting VA’s Veteran Community Partnership program and developing the blue print for other VAs and communities to forge liaisons and communications to improve their coordination and support of services to Veterans.
In 2009, the Albany Stratton VA was asked to represent the Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN 2), as one of four sites nationally to pilot the Veteran Community Partnership program which was designed to operationalize formal liaisons with community agencies, outreach to community agencies providing services to Veterans, increase VA’s visibility within their communities and educate community agencies about their Veteran clientele.
Through the Veteran Community Partnership the Albany Stratton VA began a dialogue with community agencies such as the Office for the Aging, Alzheimer’s Association and community hospice agencies by hosting a series of meetings at the Albany Stratton VA and in the community to improve the coordination of care that would support Veterans living in the community and avoid using institutional care.
The partnerships that developed between Albany Stratton VA and the community agencies had a positive effect on both groups. Albany Stratton VA was able to promote itself in the community, provide education on Veterans benefits and health care services, and community agencies gained knowledge about how to better care for their Veteran clientele and information on how Veterans could access additional VA services.
Albany Stratton VA’s successful effort has resulted in the Department of Veterans Affairs developing a national policy providing guidance on how to replicate and implement this best practice across the country.
The Albany Stratton VA Veterans Community Partnership would like to let all community agencies know that they are available and willing to participate in community health promotion events, agency steering committees, needs assessments and staff trainings. VA professional staff are also available for speaking engagements.
If you or your agency would like to learn more and/or participate in the Veteran Community Partnership program please contact Susan Morse, Director of Home and Community Based Care at (518) 626-6010.