Sept 20 2016


Hill Country Veteran Council Meeting
September 20, 2016
Kerrville Chamber of Commerce

HCVC Officers: President Vicki Marsh, SVP Dennis Birchall 2VP Byron Warren
HCVC Members: Gary Noller, Maggie Baker, David Rittenhouse
KVA: Kimberly Hoge, KVAMC
Guests: Nick Oprea

HCVC President Vicki Marsh opened the meeting at 9:00 on September 20, 2016. She thanked Ms. Kimberly Hoge the KVAMC Administrator for arranging for the Lunch & Learn on "Speed to Hire” VA employees this Friday September, 23rd @ noon @ The KVAMC Learning Center.   

a.  Thanks, too, for referring the GAO representatives to us for our view of the implementation of the changes recommended and approved by the Secretary in the Capital Asset Realignment for Enhanced Services Report.  They were more interested in other topics of interest to them e.g. right mix of services between Audie and KVAMC and are enough vets using KVAMC, than our view of its implementation.  Gary Noller and Vicki Marsh had to raise the subject with them.

b.  It is a good idea to have the 4th Floor Specialty Clinics’ clerks also answer phones for the several smaller clinics at the opposite end until a clerk is hired to serve those clinics.

Review of the Draft Non-VA Care in the Community Flyer
We would like to review this with you so that you understand our concerns about making it more Veteran friendly, and then follow-up in writing to Carla Strawn and Ms. McGregor so that our recommendations can be considered in the next iteration.  Ms. Hoge gave us the electrons for the flyer so we can make suggested changes. She also commented that changes would likely be accepted, but a revision would not be done soon. Dennis Birchall offered to take the lead in revising it.

Only complete blood counts and urinalyses are done @ KVAMC.  We understand that chemical analyses are sent to Audie.  As ever, there’s concern that this temporary situation may become permanent.  A few months has turned into several.  Ms. Hoge has been unable to get response on when this will be resolved. HCVC will raise this issue with the STVHCS Director Mr. Walton at the next Stakeholder’s Meeting.

Status of Personnel Vacancies
Hired 2 Housekeeping, 2 Canteen Workers, and 1 nursing in last month
Dental Hygienist accepted and is in-processing
Physical therapist – We have 3 applicants
Geriatrician – KVAMC has interviewed 1 person, but that person has not yet submitted an application
Ultrasound – no resolution when KVAMC will resume providing this service 2 days per week. An overhire with CT experience has been approved for the X-ray tech who retires in Dec.

Transfer of Veterans From San Antonio
Pres. Marsh asked whether Veterans from San Antonio were being directed to KVAMC for enrollment & assignment to Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACT) here until PACT's in SA can accommodate them?   If so, what is the impact on the panel size of our PACTs? Ms Hoge responded that that a few Veterans had been transferred, but that it was not viewed positively by Veterans and VA Staff.

New Business
Outpatient Visits to KVAMC
Ms. Hoge provided a chart showing the number of Veteran Outpatient Visits and Appointments broken down by month for Fiscal Year 2016. In FY 2016, 11,611 unique patients received 69, 246 Outpatient Appointments at KVAMC.

Release of Information Clerk
The new Release of Information (ROI) Clerk is on hand and working on the second floor of KVAMC. Pres. Marsh asked whether or not the ROI Clerk couldn’t be made more accessible by putting her on the first floor. Ms. Hoge explained her plan for re-arranging the first floor area and rationale for keeping the ROI Clerk on the second floor. Her goal is to collocate ROI office with travel and the Head of Medican Administration Services.

KVAMC’s Short-stay unit (20-Bed Step-Down or Transitional Unit)
Pres.. Marsh asked whether or not the 20-bed step-down or transitional unit is going to become another long term care facility? Ms. Hoge stated that she had not heard that. Since KVAMC didn’t have a Physical Therapist, they were not admitting patients needing re-hab. They have been admitting patients needing IV, wound care or observation.

Optical Shop and Audiology
Ms. Marsh stated that the Optical Shop on the 3rd floor is a great benefit to Veterans, VA employees and their families. They have great specials which could save money for all, but especially those with family members needing glasses. Optical shop needs better advertising.

Audiology appointment no-shows are an issue. Veterans who schedule an appointment and then do not show up, hurt their fellow Veterans who have to wait longer for an appointment. Veterans who make an appointment and can’t make it should call and cancel the appointment so another Veteran who needs an appointment can use it. KVAMC is looking at ways to text patients about their appointments. This is in addition to their receiving a letter notifying them of their appointment date & time and a follow-up post card with the same information, plus phone call reminders.

A VA News Release on September 8, 2016 stated that Veterans who need routine audiology and optometry appointments will soon be able to directly schedule them. Ms. Hoge had not heard of this news release and will research it.

There being no further business, HCVC President Vicki Marsh closed the meeting at 10:00 hours.




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