October 21, 2014


A meeting of the Texas Hill Country Veterans Council was held on October 21, 2014 at the Kerrville Chamber of Commerce. Attending the meeting were:

Vicki Marsh, President
Bill Bacon, First Vice President
David Rittenhouse, Second Vice President
Members Bill Cantrell, Emilio Rendon, Dan Bacon, Gary Noller
Paul Gregory, Chief Administrative Officer Kerrville VA
Guests Susan Junker and Mike Cagle

The meeting was called to order at 0905 by President Marsh.

Vicki Marsh opened the meeting by saying she had heard that the Head nurse was leaving. Paul Gregory responded in the affirmative and remarked that they already had a candidate to replace him.

Audiology: Current audiology tech is leaving. Paul Gregory mentioned that he is seeking support from Audie Murphy and that TeleHealth was also useful in filling the gap.

Paul Gregory said they did have approval for an overhire for Dr. Shomatsu who is retiring in May. The position has not been posted yet, but they have 2 MDs providing support along with 2 Nurse Practioners.

6A Short Term Care: There will be an increase in short term stay beds from 15 to 20 immediately and going to a maximum of 25 in the very near future. The total current population is 78-84 in Long Term Care.

A new speech pathologist is being interviewed.

PC3: Paul Gregory will get a list of the PC3 providers. The Peterson Group is not involved which is their own decision.

Ultrasound: The Ultrasound Tech will come from Audie and new equipment will be operating by December.

Dental: services in South Texas are up 17% over 5 years. Assistance and cooperation are coming from UTHSC and SAMCC (for surgery). KVA’s dentist is referring those needing cleaning to private providers. STVHCS is 2nd highest nationally for dental- Unique Patients:  A Veteran patient is counted as a unique in each division from which they receive care.  For example, if a patient receives Primary Care at one VA facility and specialty care from another VA facility, he/she will be counted as a unique patient in each division. Source: VA glossary.

Neurology: there is no update on a doctor. Patients are being referred locally or sent to Audie Murphy.

New VA identification cards are being mailed through November. If veterans have NOT received them by the end of November, veterans should go the admissions office.

Pharmacy: New federal rules from the Drug Enforcement Agency have mandated that that VA prescriptions for hydrocodone (Vicodin) will be limited to a 30-day supply with NO refills. Rather veterans must request a new prescription each month from their doctor. Veterans can no longer use the automated refill hotline for this medication.

Sleep Clinic via telehelath: all providers are in place. Date to implement is unknown.

Mental Health: appointment reminder cards are being sent out.

Get Well Network: an in patient program for education, food ordering, etc.

Notes Taken by Bill Bacon


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