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    Caribbean Healthcare System transforms for veterans of the 21st century

    Caribbean Healthcare System transforms for veterans of the 21st century

    Photo By Joseph Rivera Rebolledo | VA Caribbean Healthcare System Director DeWayne Hamlin speaks to the public during a...... read more read more



    Story by Joseph Rivera Rebolledo 

    VA Caribbean Healthcare System

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Today, the Veterans Administration Caribbean Healthcare System (VACHS) director, DeWayne Hamlin, hosted a press conference at the San Juan VA Hospital. The VACHS has made improvements to patient care services through improved technology, focusing on preventing veteran homelessness, education and current and future facility improvements to better serve the veteran population.

    In the patient care arena, the VA has been able to bring new technologies like the Snoezelen Room to help cognitive impaired patients; the only one of its kind in the Caribbean and one of the few approved throughout the nation. Moreover, an Interactive Patient Care (IPC) system in which 378 units provide inpatients Internet access, patient education and direct access to their medical team.

    In the area of homelessness, the VA in general has committed more-than a billion dollars to strengthen and prevent homelessness among veterans. Locally, VACHS has served more than 120 veterans to achieve health, education, employment and housing goals.

    “We at the VA Caribbean Healthcare System are proud to be the facility of choice of our veterans. It is a privilege to serve those who served, and be able to provide them the best health care available through a compassionate team. To facilitate the obtainment of our goals, we are also improving the facilities and modernizing them to current times and veterans' needs,” said Hamlin.

    VACHS has continued to support the local colleges by accepting more students that are making their residencies.

    According to Hamlin, besides serving the veterans’ community, the VACHS is proud to be recognized as a main contributor when it comes to the training and development of future nurses and doctors.

    VACHS currently has 153 academic affiliation programs with 60 different academic health institutions including 18 nursing training programs with 10 different Nursing Schools in addition to Dental, Pharmacy, Dietetics, Social Work, Occupational and Physical Therapy, Optometry, Psychology, Laboratory Technology, Radiology Technology, Surgical, Cardiovascular Technology and Respiratory Therapy academic affiliations.

    Approximately 1,800 students, trainees, residents, interns and fellows are trained each year at the San Juan hospital.

    “One of the ways we contribute to our society is by developing the best medical professionals in the field by encouraging students to come here to do their practice with an expert team of professionals,” said Hamlin.

    The VACHS is a Joint Commission accredited, complex system of care, proudly serving veterans in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

    According to Hamlin, the VACHS is one of the most complex healthcare systems in the Department of Veterans Affairs inventory.

    VACHS consists of one VA medical center and 10 outpatient clinics including multi-disciplinary ambulatory facilities and 300 authorized acute care beds.

    Services are provided to approximately 65,000 unique veterans residing in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In fiscal year 2014, the VACHS recorded 1,073,293 outpatient visits and 10,494 hospital admissions.

    In an effort to improving access to care for veterans, the VACHS has made several changes to meet the health care needs of our local and U.S. Virgin Island veterans by hiring 43 physicians, 176 nurses and 370 other critical occupations.

    “We will continue to work hard to find better ways to serve our veterans with passion,” said Hamlin.



    Date Taken: 08.05.2015
    Date Posted: 08.05.2015 16:34
    Story ID: 172269
    Location: SAN JUAN, PR 

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