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COUNCIL MEETING NOTES

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

Attendees:
HCVC Officers: President Vicki Marsh, SVP Dennis Birchall 2VP Byron Warren
HCVC Members: Gary Noller, Maggie Baker,
KVA: Kimberly Hoge, KVAMC
Guests: Nick Opea, Christine Hodges, Gary Powers, Mike Cagle

Preliminaries
HCVC President Vicki Marsh opened the meeting at 9:00 on December 20, 2016.  She thanked Ms. Kimberly Hoge the KVAMC Administrator for
KVAMC’s Snack bar support of the December 2, 2016 South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS) Stakeholders Meeting.  Ms. Marsh was appreciative of the quick responses HCVC received on their questions.  

KVAMC Changes and Upcoming Events

Ms. Hoge highlighted the fact that same-day care is available at KVAMC.  The VA standard for same-day care is within 24 hours of patient walking in.  There are 28 open positions at KVAMC and HR is actively recruiting for them.  STVHCS will hold a job fair at KVAMC in the 1st quarter of calendar year 2017.  Veterans can now make audiology appointments directly with the clinic without going through their primary care team.  The phone number is 1-800-792-2581. The Veterans Benefit Agency will have a representative in Room 324 from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM on the first Wednesday of each month.  This will be a great help for Veterans wanting to check on claim status.  The Veterans Land Board is sponsoring a Veterans Benefit Fair in the KVAMC Auditorium on Saturday February 4, 2017 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. The Texas Veterans Land Board, Texas Veterans Commission and the Department of Veterans Affairs will all have representatives at KVAMC to assist Veterans during the Benefits Fair.

 

New Hires at KVAMC

LAST NAME

FIRST NAME

MI

TITLE

SERVICE

Chapman

Amy

A.

Dietitian (HBPC)

Nutrition/Food

Finley

Stacy

L.

Medical Laboratory Technician

Path & Lab Medicine

Myers

Bruce

R.

Registered Nurse-Community Living Center

Nursing

Smith

Angela

M.

Housekeeping Aid

EMS

Barry

Stanford

A.

Medical Support Assistant

MAS

Levens

Charles

D.

Safety & Occupational Health Specialist

Safety

Saucier

Sean

M.

Kinesiotherapy’s

PM&R

Schmidt

Sean

L.

clinical pharmacist

Pharmacy

Prokopiak

Ashley

R

Occupational Therapist

PM&R

Wickware

Mariah

R

Dental Assistant

Dental

Aukerman

Stephanie

M

Dental Hygienist

Dental

Caldwell

Stacy

L

NA (CLC/KD)

Nursing

 Optometry  Dr. Dau should be on board on January 9, 2017 for Fee Basis Work.  She will work Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays.  She is considering working Wednesdays, but hasn’t committed yet.  The Optometry position was posted and closed the second week of December, but it will be months before we have someone on-board full time.

Radiology Ms. Hoge is working an “over hire” and a “direct hire” position for radiology.  An over hire is used when KVAMC knows they are going to lose a person and asks to start the hiring process before the person leaves.  Special permissions are required.  The over hire will replace Diana Orduna and will be able to do routine radiology (chest X-rays, abdominal X-rays, extremities, etc).  The direct hire is for the ultrasound position at ALMD and will allow KVAMC to offer ultrasounds two days a week.

Geriatrician  There are two applicants and KVAMC is interviewing both.  One will replace Dr. Martin and the other will replace Dr. Shimatsu.

Physical Therapist  The candidate has been selected and is in the boarding process with Human Services

Clerk Position for 4th Floor Specialty Clinics  Hired

Additional Primary Care Provider  On board the end of December and will be located on the 1st floor.

Home Care Team KVAMC was approved for an additional Home Care Team of 6 people.  Capable of covering 60-mile radius versus normal 40 mile radius.

Mental Health Mid Level Care Team KVAMC was approved for an additional 2 person Mental Health Mid Level Care Team capable of treating 16 Veterans.

Lab Equipment  We learned that it was ready for delivery, but because of holidays, it was postponed until Jan./Feb. and that installation and training will take about 6 weeks.  Thus, by March or April, we should be able to resume nearly all lab testing here.

Veteran Enrollment at KVAMC  In response to HCVC comments about reduced Veteran enrollment at KVAMC, Ms. Hoge provided the below statistics for Fiscal Years 15. 16 and to date FY17.

  

VA and NonVA Unique Patients

Division

NOV-FY15

NOV-FY16

NOV-FY17

%Change

FYTD Unique Patients

Kerrville VAMC

5,076

5,178

4,921

-3.1 %

FYTD Unique Women Veterans

Kerrville VAMC

340

378

351

3.2 %

% Women Veterans

Kerrville VAMC

6.7 %

7.3 %

7.1 %

6.0 %

FYTD Rural / Highly Rural Uniques

Kerrville VAMC

4,219

4,210

3,991

-5.4 %

% Rural / Highly Rural

Kerrville VAMC

83.1 %

81.3 %

81.1 %

-2.4 %

 

 

 

 

 

 

VA Outpatient Workload

Division

NOV-FY15

NOV-FY16

NOV-FY17

%Change

Monthly VA Unique Outpatients

Kerrville VAMC

3,000

3,120

3,231

7.7 %

Monthly VA Unduplicated Encounters

Kerrville VAMC

6,592

6,821

6,892

4.6 %

Monthly VA Outpatient Visits

Kerrville VAMC

5,025

5,455

5,639

12.2 %

FYTD VA Outpatient Visits

Kerrville VAMC

11,963

11,946

11,364

-5.0 %

FYTD VA Unduplicated Encounters

Kerrville VAMC

15,611

14,991

13,955

-10.6 %

Advertising  HCVC President Vicki Marsh stressed the need for more advertising of the services available at KVAMC.  With 25 specialty clinics from audiology to urology KVAMC is a unique capability that Veterans need to know about and take advantage of.

HCVC President Viki Marsh adjourned the meeting at 10:00 AM December 20, 2016


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

Attendees:
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

Preliminaries
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.

Labs
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.

 


Notes for Hill Country Vets Council March 2015 Meeting - Click HERE

Archived Meeting Notes HERE


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"Like HELL you'll close our Hospital!"
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HILL COUNTRY VETERANS COUNCIL

Meets the 3rd Tuesday of each month @ 9:00AM
Kerrville Chamber Office
1700 Sidney Baker Street
Kerrville, Texas 78028
Ph. 830-896-1157
Fax 830-896-1175

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