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    VA and DOD partner to increase primary and specialty health care access for Tennessee and Kentucky Veterans



    Story by Bailey Breving 

    Veterans Health Administration

    FORT CAMPBELL , KY — Today, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced a new partnership with the Department of Defense to increase VA health care for Veterans in Tennessee and Kentucky.

    The forthcoming agreements allow Veterans to receive care at the Fort Campbell VA Clinic inside of the Blanchfield Army Community Hospital located on Fort Campbell Army Installation.

    Ensuring that Veterans have timely access to world-class health care is a top priority for VA, and this VA-DOD partnership enables Veterans in Clarksville, Tennessee and the Fort Campbell region to receive primary and mental health care from VA clinicians. As part of the partnership, VA and DOD will also collaborate to expand specialty access for Veterans at Fort Campbell Army Installation, adding dental care, women’s health care, intensive care, and pain management.

    The partnership, which is the first of its kind in Kentucky and second in Tennessee, is a key part of VA’s comprehensive strategy to modernize the VA health care system nationwide – including through nationwide partnerships with DOD. This partnership is one of hundreds across the country with DOD, including 14 near- and long-term projects to expand access to care for Veterans. Earlier this year, VA and DOD created a similar partnership in Pensacola, Florida to increase access to world-class surgical care for approximately 37,000 Gulf Coast-area Veterans. Through this work, VA is aggressively working to expand the amount of available space to meet Veteran demand for VA health care services and address challenges associated with aging facilities.

    “This partnership will help VA provide more access to care, more quickly to Tennessee and Kentucky Veterans,” said VA Under Secretary for Health Shereef Elnahal, M.D. “We are proud to work with DOD and the Blanchfield Army Community Hospital to deliver for our nation’s heroes — and meet their health care needs close to home.”

    “We are thrilled with the announcement of this new partnership with the VA,” said Assistant Secretary, Defense for Health Affairs Lester Martinez-Lopez, M.D. “Not only does it provide increased opportunities to care for those who have sacrificed so much for this country, but it helps our medical professionals maintain their readiness skills. It is a win-win for all those involved. Plus, we are able to do this without impacting the quality and access to care for our traditional beneficiaries.”

    “Partnering with Blanchfield Army Community Hospital increases Veteran access to VA care, helping us meet the needs of the 32,000 eligible Veterans who live in Montgomery County and entrust VA with their health care,” said Executive Director, VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System Daniel Dücker.

    “Providing healthcare to diverse populations with varied complexity is a critical component of military medical team readiness. Blanchfield’s partnership with the VA is mutually beneficial as veteran’s receive primary medical services near their homes and the hospital staff maintaining their clinical skills by treating diverse maladies less common in the active-duty population,” said Commander, Blanchfield Army Community Hospital Col. Sam Preston. 

    The Fort Campbell and Clarksville areas have the largest and most rapidly growing Veteran population in Tennessee. Currently, Montgomery County has more than 21,000 Veterans enrolled in VA health care and another 29,100 Veterans are untethered and eligible for VA care. Women Veterans account for 19% of Veterans currently enrolled. Through the PACT Act, VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System will establish three new outpatient clinics by fiscal year 2027 to further address the needs of nearly 94,000 Veterans in Clarksville, Cookeville, and Nashville areas, who are eligible for PACT Act benefits and care.

    In addition to expanding partnerships with DOD, VA has recently reached agreements with Stanford University to build a cutting-edge cancer and research center and with Penn Medicine to expand health care access in Southeastern Pennsylvania. These public-private partnerships were made possible under the PACT Act, the largest expansion of VA health care and benefits in generations.

    VA is aggressively working to bring new Veterans to VA, because VA is proven to be the best, most affordable health care in America for Veterans. In 2023 alone, peer-reviewed studies showed that VA health care is better than or equal to non-VA health care; nearly 70% of VA hospitals received 4 or 5 stars in the annual CMS Hospital ratings, compared to just 41% of non-VA hospitals; VA hospitals outperformed non-VA hospitals in all 10 patient satisfaction metrics in Medicare’s latest survey of patients; and more than 91% of Veterans trust VA with their care. Since the PACT Act was signed into law, more than 500,000 Veterans have enrolled in VA care.

    For more information on VA health care for Veterans in Kentucky and Tennessee, visit VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare.



    Date Taken: 02.23.2024
    Date Posted: 04.11.2024 14:33
    Story ID: 468353

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