January 19, 2016


Hill Country Veterans Council Meeting
February 16, 2016
Kerrville Area Chamber of Commerce

HCVC Officers: President Vicki Marsh, VP David Rittenhouse
HCVC Members: Dennis Birchall, Cord Switzer, Byron Warren, Bill Cantrell, Emilio Rendon, Maggie Baker
KVA: Jennifer McElroy, KVA AO
Guests: Gary Powers, Jerry Jernigan, Mike Cagle

General Topics
The KVA Freedoms Path cleaning fee for apartments was requested but not available. There are 2 hotel type apartments available for Veterans needing an overnight accommodation and the cleaning fee would be the cost to the Veteran.
The next meeting will be 22Mar16, where Jennifer will introduce her replacement as AO at KVA.

List of items to be provided at next Stakeholders' Meeting:
Need single POC at VA; all information needs to be consolidated. The Cemetery is an example.

An explanation of payment procedures to PRMC is requested.

Status of position fills at KVA:
Gem clinic now has an MD and a Nurse Practitioner, as well as another psychologist.
The new Dental hygienist is physically here now.
The new AO is coming from the VA in Alexandria, LA, and will have a two-week overlap with Jennifer.

The new CMO/Green Team Doctor is having some timing issues with closing his private practice office and KVA is now looking at the end of March for his arrival.
Panel size is defined as the number of veterans (~1200) assigned to a Team, which typically is staffed by a MD, an RN, an LVN and a clerk.

27Feb16 is national access stand-down day and KVA is looking at bringing in a doctor for extra appointments. This is not yet confirmed. The last such local event was 06Feb16
Advertising for an open doctor position with a candidate currently in progress continues pending the doctor being actually on hand.

Patients will be called for appointments. The VA needs to ensure the appointment is made within 30 days

A Psychiatrist is due in July, but KVA is still advertising.
Ultrasound is still being covered from Audie or PRMC; ED (Emergency Department) demand at Audie has been rather high lately resulting in up to 6 hour waits for emergencies.

ROI Clerk: The position has closed and it is expected to be filled within a few weeks. KVA is looking to place the ROI on the first floor for easy access.
Custodial Positions: The positions ae generally not called custodians, rather names such as housekeeping aide or environment of care specialist. Laundry positions are listed as laundry.

A "Cert" is what comes out of HR with a list of candidates for the department head to select within 10 days.

KVA's greatest current personnel challenge is retirements. A second challenge is that many jobs are lower paying positions.

KVAs current vacancies on "custodians" is about 10.

HCVC recognizes that the custodial staff is doing a great job.

There are three vacant clerk positions currently and KVA is hoping to hire soon. The actual position names can vary.

Jennifer was not yet sure what will happen with the secretarial position.

Pharmacy is down one tech due to a promotion and a lower tech position is now open for hiring.

The KVA telephone guide is being prepared, but is slowed down due to an unavoidable personal issue.

Urology needs to be added to the KVA website as a service. (Not yet listed as of 1054 hrs. on 19Feb16: http://www.southtexas.va.gov/locations/Kerrville_VA_Hospital.asp )

Other Topics
There will be a Vietnam Veterans Welcome Home celebration at Grape Juice on 26Mar16. We may advertise with flyers at KVA.

Maximizing Telehealth: Why not use for follow-up sleep appointments? Certain procedures are allowed and others are not by National Medical Care Services. As Telehealth matures, the list of available procedures is being expanded.

Agenda items III. Matters affecting employment and IV. Other Concerns ill be addressed at the next meeting.

Internal Business:
Review of Guidelines for Membership: The document was read and approved by all with addition of "(s)" after DD214.
At the next meeting, Vicki Marsh is up for re-election. We should also address adding a second VP.
Vicki and David need to register HCVC name with Court House at Kerr County. (Vicki and David went to the Courthouse after the meeting and attempted to do this, but the name is currently registered for four more years by another HCVC member. This needs to be clarified.)

Wings of Freedom is scheduled for March 14 to 16 at the Fredericksburg Gillespie County Airport.




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