AP NEWS

VAMC focused on modernization

March 10, 2019

HUNTINGTON — Hershel “Woody” Williams VA Medical Center (HWW VAMC) has broken ground on many different paths to modernization. Leadership and staff are creating a veteran healthcare plan for the future using on-campus, local and online resources.

In 2018, backhoes broke ground on campus for the first time since 1992 to build a Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program (RRTP) building. The RRTP will provide high-quality residential rehabilitation and treatment services for veterans with multiple medical conditions, mental illness, addiction or psychosocial deficits. As PTSD and opioid addictions rise in West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio, HWW will be poised to provide greater on-campus care for veterans.

HWW is adding a hospice unit, a virtual care suite and PET scan. Patients can be advised on their diet, get in a good work out in the MOVE! program, check hearing, vision, dental, physical therapy, polytrauma, screen their sleep patterns, as well as primary care and pharmacy needs.

Traditionally, providers have zeroed in on patients’ diseases and ailments. HWW is working to shift the focus by instead starting a conversation about what matters most to veterans.

Before a visit, VEText reminds patients of appointments. VA Health Care has many apps available for smart phones at https://mobile.va.gov/appstore/veterans. Mobile apps such as “Ask a Pharmacist,” “PTSD Family Coach” and “Stay Quit Coach” to stop smoking assist in managing care and staying in touch with their VA care team.

The staff at HWW VAMC know the stories of WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm and Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom. They have the skills to assist with PTSD. When more care is needed, the Suicide Prevention Team stands ready, along with the 24/7 Veterans Crisis Line (1-800-273-8255, press 1).

Suicide prevention is much more than intervention at the point of crisis – it is about creating and fostering cultures where veterans and their families thrive.

Also, intimate partner violence (IPV) is a serious, preventable public health problem that affects millions of Americans. The term “intimate partner violence” describes physical, sexual or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse. This type of violence can occur among heterosexual or same-sex couples and does not require sexual intimacy. HWW has private services and people who can help. The HWW takes care of female veterans, spouses and family members also.

When health care is not available at HWW VAMC, the VA Mission Act of 2018 is designed to greatly improve veteran access to VA Healthcare. It consolidates VA’s community care programs into a new Veterans Community Care Program to ensure veterans choose VA by getting them the right care at the right time from the right provider. Under the law, the new rules are supposed to be finalized in March 2019, before the new community care program is established in June.

With a staff of nearly 1,400 and being a fully accredited 80-bed acute medical and surgical care facility, Hershel “Woody” Williams VA Medical Center is honored to serve veterans in a primary service area that includes 10 counties in West Virginia, two counties in southern Ohio and 12 counties in eastern Kentucky.

ABOUT HERSHEL ‘WOODY’ WILLIAMS VA MEDICAL CENTER

ADDRESS: 1540 Spring Valley Drive, Huntington

PHONE: 304-429-6741 or toll-free 800-827-8244

WEBSITE: www.huntington.va.gov

TOTAL NUMBER OF BEDS: 80

NUMBER OF STAFF: 1,398

MEDICAL AREAS OF FOCUS: Acute medical and surgical inpatient services as well as primary care, mental health and specialty care outpatient services.

OTHER CAMPUSES/CLINICS: Community-Based Outpatient Clinics: Charleston; Prestonsburg, Ky.; Gallipolis, Ohio; Lenore, W.Va.; Community Resource and Referral Center, Huntington.

KEY PLAYER

JOHN KLIM

HOMETOWN: Huntington

JOB TITLE: Chief engineer

HOW DID YOU GET INTO YOUR CAREER?: “I started my career in facility engineering and plant management in my family’s manufacturing business. I worked there for nearly 20 years before coming to the VA.”

FIRST JOB: Newspaper carrier for The Herald-Dispatch

FAMILY: wife, Pam; and son, Matthew.

FAVORITE BOOK: “The Art of Hassle Free Management” by Philip B. Crosby

FAVORITE MOVIE: “Star Wars IV”

FAVORITE TV SHOW: “How The Universe Works”