– Veterans Affairs Secretary Dr. David Shulkin presented the challenges facing
the Department of Veterans Affairs during his State of the VA briefing
Wednesday, May 31. The Providence VA Medical Center is working to meet these
challenges locally, and improve services for Veterans.
choice is one of Shulkin’s top priorities, and in addition to the Choice
program, the Providence VAMC now has agreements with more than 120 community
Quality of care
is another of the secretary’s top priorities, and the Providence VAMC maintained
the Veterans Health Administration’s highest rating – 5 stars – in April.
We are now ranked 9th out of 146 rated VA Medical Centers across the
timeliness of service continues to be priority for VA. More than 98 percent of
Providence VAMC patients receive an appointment within 30 days of their
preferred date, and new patients are getting their first primary care
appointment in an average of 13 days. We are also able offer same-day access to
primary care and mental health for Veterans who need it, and we are continuing
to explore ways to make care and services more accessible for Veterans.
pointed out, 20 Veterans dying daily by suicide nationwide is completely
unacceptable. The Mental Health Service at the Providence VAMC provides care
for Veterans at the Providence facility and clinics in Middletown, R.I., and
New Bedford and Hyannis, Mass. Services include suicide prevention, and also
treatment and support for homelessness, post-traumatic stress, substance use
and other challenges, any of which can contribute to Veteran suicide. Veterans
in crisis and their loved ones can also call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat
online at www.VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat, or send a text message to 838255 to receive
confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
“These achievements are the result
of a sustained effort from our staff, volunteers and community partners,” said
Dr. Susan MacKenzie, director of the Providence VAMC. “Working together, we can
continue to provide the high-quality care Veterans have earned through their
service and sacrifice.”