Country Veteran Council Meeting
September 20, 2016
Kerrville Chamber of Commerce
HCVC Officers: President Vicki Marsh, SVP Dennis Birchall 2VP Byron
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
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.
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
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.