2010 Budget Includes Transformation Initiatives
T he VA Heart of Texas Health Care
Network has received the first two
quarters of its 2010 budget, which to-
ward to innovative new programs
aimed at reducing complications associ-
ated with health care, improving access
tals more than $2 billion for the entire
for Veterans in rural areas, increasing
investment in Mental Health services,
The funds are allocated to the net- and transforming VHA’s culture
Women’s History Month work according to a formula known as through patient-centered care to im-
the Veterans Equitable Resource Allo- prove Veteran and family satisfaction,
Thank you Women Veterans! cation (VERA) System. among other things.
VERA allocates the Veterans Health One such initiative, for which the
Of the 1.8 million U.S. women vet- Administration’s budget ($44.2 billion network has received $8 million this
erans, more than 450,000 have en- for 2010) to the 21 integrated service year, is the “Medical Home Model.”
rolled in the VA health care system. networks based on complexity of care The Medical Home Model replaces
That number is expected to grow by and forecast workload for the coming care that is driven by a patient’s ail-
30 percent in the next five years year. The VA Heart of Texas Health ments on a given visit (“episodic care”)
Care Network then distributes the funds with coordinated care and a long-term
More than 212,000 women service
to its four health care systems (VA healing relationship.
members have been deployed to
Iraq and Afghanistan; 11 percent of
Texas Valley Coastal Bend HCS be- When it is fully implemented, the
the deployed force -- 120 have been comes fully independent from South Medical Home Model will provide Vet-
killed in action and more than 600 Texas Veterans HCS in October 2010) erans with ongoing relationships with
wounded. based on workload and other factors. their personal physicians, enhanced
The network received about 4.56 access and a team of health care provid-
The average age of women veter- percent of the VHA budget for 2010. ers from clerks to pharmacists.
ans is 48 years old, compared to New for 2010 are funds set aside for the In this model, the team’s work liter-
an average age of 61 for male veter- “Transformation into the 21st Century ally revolves around the patient, rather
ans. Nearly all newly enrolled Initiatives,” or “T-21” initiatives. than requiring the patient to navigate a
women veterans using VA health
T-21 reflects Veterans Affairs Secre- system that sometimes seems to be set-
care are under 40 and of childbear-
tary Eric Shinseki’s guiding principles up for providers’ convenience.
for the VA: that it will be people- Pilots of the model have shown im-
All VA Medical Centers have ap- centric, results-driven and forward- proved patient satisfaction, and, more
pointed a full-time Women Veter- looking. importantly, much better than normal
ans Program Manager. These As a result, Veterans can look for- clinical outcomes.
managers support and coordinate
increased outreach to women veter-
ans, improve quality of care provi-
sions and develop best practices.
Network News is a publication of
VISN 17, the VA Heart of Texas
Health Care Network. Contact:
Aaron Reed, Electronic Media
Diana L. Struski, Public Affairs
Bill McLemore, Congressional
and Veterans Service Organiza-
tions Liaison, 512-433-2019,
Stimulus Funds Go to Work for Texas Veterans
Nearly $8 million slated for patient care and infrastructure improvements
F unds from the President’s Eco-
nomic Stimulus Plan, officially
known as the American recovery and
Upgrading the water system to re-
place the water tower, main pump
house and ground water storage tank
Reinvestment Act (ARRA), are being for $745,081;
used in the VA Heart of Texas Health Improving site drainage for
Care Network for construction and $800,000;
maintenance projects. Improving roads, including parking
lots, sidewalks and curbs, for
The VA North Texas Health Care $900,000;
System received $7.9 million to: Upgrading windows for $747,000; Polytrauma Center Funded
Expand the primary care unit at the Renovating the Recreation and Mu- The VA announced in February the
Sam Rayburn Memorial VAMC at sic Building for $1 million. award of two contracts totaling $41.5
Bonham, for $2 million; million to fund the construction of the
Renovate a medicine bed unit to en- The South Texas Veterans Health Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center and
hance patient privacy at the Dallas Care System received $7.96 million to: to improve the existing wards at the
VAMC for $2.2 million; and San Antonio VA Medical Center.
Design and upgrade the fire alarm Purchase and renovate 25,000 square One contract announced by Secre-
system at the Dallas VAMC for $3.7 feet of Department of Defense space tary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki
million. for the South Bexar Outpatient provides $37.2 million to Robins and
Clinic for $3,525,000. Morton of Birmingham, Ala., to build
The Central Texas Veterans Refurbish the an operating room at the three-story, 84,000 square foot
Health Care System received $7.9 the Audie L. Murphy Memorial Vet- Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center on
million, which will be used for projects erans Hospital (San Antonio VAMC) the San Antonio VAMC campus.
at the Waco VAMC, including: for $600,000; The center will offer physical medi-
Replace the air handler at the Kerr- cine, rehabilitation services, prosthetics
Modifying air conditioning and ex- ville Division for $1.9 million; services and research. It will be the fifth
tending the chilled water loop for Replace roofs on four buildings at polytrauma center in the VA system.
$2.5 million; the Kerrville Division for A $4.3 million contract, awarded to
Relocating Canteen dining and retail $1,184,000; and Strategic Perspectives Development of
store for $500,000; Upgrade the boiler plant at the Kerr- San Antonio, provides for upgrades and
Upgrading electrical feeder for ville Division for $756,173. expansion to a surgical inpatient ward
$760,000; at the San Antonio VAMC.
New: Online Help for
March 2010 Priority 8 Outreach Events Wounded Warriors
4: National Veterans Creative Arts Festival (NVCAF) Waco VA Art Show &
Awards Program, 4800 Memorial Drive (Stracke Auditorium), Waco, TX –
The federal departments of Veterans
Sharon White, 800-423-2111, ext. 42002.
Affairs, Labor and Defense recently
6: Veterans Benefit and Health Care Seminar, First Baptist Church, 209 N. unveiled an improved one-stop Web
6th, Teague, TX – Sherley Mitchell, 800-423-2111, ext. 40681.
shop for wounded warriors.
9: Hiring Heroes Workshop & Career Fair, Fort Sam Houston, TX – Gene- The National Resource Directory is a
vieve Joson, 210-617-5300, ext. 15735.
comprehensive, free, online tool for
13: Texas Veterans Land Board, 1721 E. Central Expressway, Killeen, TX – wounded, ill and injured service mem-
Joshua Bailey, 800-423-2111, ext. 40683. bers, Veterans and their families.
19-21: Yellow Ribbon Event, DFW Metroplex (TBD) – Master Sgt. Harold Visitors to the site can find an exten-
Starkey, 318-218-1099. sive range of information about Veter-
20-21: Yellow Ribbon Event, San Antonio (TBD), TX – Ron Acon, 210—617- ans’ benefits, including disability and
5300, ext. 14298. pension benefits, VA health care and
25: NVCAF Music Video Taping, 4800 Memorial Drive (Medical Media Stu- educational opportunities.
dio), Waco, TX – Dianne Thompson, 800-423-2111, ext. 42225. The site also offers access to emo-
27: Veterans Benefit Fair, 2120 West Irving Blvd., Irving, TX – Michelle tional, financial and community assis-
Davis, 214-498-8174. tance for Veterans’ caregivers.