August 18 2015

Minutes for the August 18, 2015, Hill Country Veterans Council Meeting
In attendance:
Officers: Vicki Marsh - President, David Rittenhouse - 2nd Vice President
Members: Gary Noller, Emilio Rendon, Cord Switzer, Dennis Birchall
KVA: Lee Long: -VA Admin Officer
Guests: James Cowen, Mike Cagle, Nick Oprea, Gary Powers

Choice Program
There is continued concern about availability of Choice providers
Reimbursement of local hospitals remains an issue. It has been reported that PRMC is not taking VA outpatients. Lee Long will soon be meeting with PRMC officials.

Choice Program:
Mandy Schmidt, rep. from Hill Country Memorial Hospital, has a copy of the local letter helping to promote Choice. The HCVC desires a copy.
Staffing –

Old Business
HR positions at Audie: A new Chief has been selected and will start next week. He is Jeff Young, a former employee
Still using locum tenens month to month for doctors for Blue Team. Green Team patients have been reassigned to other PACTS. KVA is having trouble filling them with permanent staff.
Current panel size for local PACTs: KVA -1165, North Central - 1251, Shavano - 1297.
Geriatric Medicine (GEM) Clinic: Dr. Susan Miller is waiting for a firm job offer to replace Dr. Shaw.
Del Rio Clinic: Doctors for staffing will be resolicited (300 veterans have been impacted who must come to Kerrville or use Choice; there is a van on Thursdays to KVA.)
Neurologist: There are 3 full time appointments with Monday start dates, but the plan is for “super” neurology nurse to come to KVA. Pres. Marsh objected because this did not work when tried last year. Also, in June Dr. Bahamon, the Service Chief, told her that a Dr. would resume coming to KVA 1 or 2 days a week.
Dental Hygienist candidate declined due to salary; KVA is now looking for someone on fee basis.
Clerk for Release of Information: no clear update yet - this has been open for almost a year now (since October 2014) while the position undergoes mandatory review.
KVA’s Admin Officer: Lee Long will remain temporarily unless someone else volunteers, position is undergoing mandatory review.
The request for practitioners to have authority to order Alpha Stim does not yet have a clear answer.
Acupuncture and Chiropractic: not a provided service for VA; but yes for Choice Program.
A new Ophthalmologist has been on board since August 3.
HCV has requested a VA org chart so that we can better understand the various organizational entities and relationships.

New Business:
Request that STVHCS ask TXDOT to remove KVA "Hospital" signs from roads, since KVA has not had an emergency room (ER) for 2 decades. Maintaining these signs unduly risks the health of vets traveling I-10 & in need of an ER. It could result in seriously endangering their health or death if they were to come to KVA 1st.

HCVC proposed a Town Hall Meeting for the 3rd Week of September,
but timing does not work for VA; VA suggests sometime in October during an evening (5 to 7 PM ) in the Kerrville Auditorium.

HCVC asked if we have we lost MRI service by 25% at Audie?
Lee reports that the weekend service is coming back. The previous contractor pulled out as of July 1. A new contract and temporaries are being established.

Were 2 psychologists hired yet? -
Not sure yet, need more information.

Prosthetics office:
the chief left and the logistics chief is now the acting chief. KVA is trying to fill position.

KVA will provide a temp office for Freedoms Path leasing until they get a permanent one

New patient orientation will be August 26th 9:45 at KVA Learning Center
There will be an August 26 breakfast for veterans at River Point from 10 to 11 AM to honor veterans.

There will be a POW & MIA Program Aug 27 at 10 AM at the VFW Post 7105 in Fredericksburg.

Prevnar-13 Pneumonia vaccine is now available at KVA.

Comments to us or the V. A. would be greatly appreciated.