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Montana VA selected to lead network in reintroducing services

Posted at 9:22 AM, May 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-18 11:22:40-04

HELENA — The Montana VA Health Care System (MTVAHCS) has been selected as a lead site in its regional Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) to implement a phased approach to reintroducing health care services, while ensuring a safe environment.

MTVAHCS has begun ramping up face-to-face visits after COVID-19 prompted some care options to be shifted to virtual appointments. Across the state, MTVAHCS facilities will begin expanding in-person services.

“We are excited to expand our in-person options for Veterans. We are grateful for the way Veterans have remained safe, connected, and engaged with their healthcare during the challenges of the past months,” said MTVAHCS Director Dr. Judy Hayman.

“As a high reliability organization, Veteran and staff safety is our highest priority, and this commitment to safety will guide our decision making as we go forward. Our health care services and procedures during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will be informed by federal, state, and local guidance.”

MTVAHCS will follow the Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA) risk-based framework to prioritize non-urgent procedures in addition to the urgent procedures currently being performed. Procedures will be evaluated on a case by case basis, taking into consideration patient health, staff safety, and resource availability.

Rigorous safety measures will continue to be followed at MTVAHCS facilities. Employee and Veteran COVID-19 screening, physical distancing, and face coverings and frequent disinfection will continue in place at all VHA facilities.

MTVAHCS will carry on with personalized virtual care options like telehealth, phone consults and wellness checks.

Best practices learned by MTVAHCS during this time will be shared with and help influence other VA facilities as they reintroduce services across the country.

Veterans who have questions about accessing MTVAHCS health care should call the nurse advice line at 1-877-468-8387 (and press option 3).