Stephanie Young, newly appointed Asheville VA Medical Director, announced a groundbreaking approach to better assist the men and women who have served our nation with the opening of self-guided kiosks in different locations of the VAMC through a unique partnership with NCServes Western. NCServes Western is a coordinated network of more than 68 accountable health and human service agencies working together to streamline access to services in North Carolina for active duty service members, Veterans and their families. NCServes Western is part of the twelve networks across the country within theAmericaServesnational coordinated care model.
Supported by a web-based technology platform from Unite Us, the network securely connects Veterans to a centralized network of services in areas including health care, housing, education, job training, and legal and financial counseling. Through the Unite Us platform, all providers in the AmericaServes networks are digitally integrated and can electronically refer Veterans seamlessly to local and national service organizations, and ensure they receive the needed outcome efficiently. VAMC staff working with Veterans who present needs outside what the VAMC can facilitate will utilize the NCServes Western Network to ensure clients’ needs are fully addressed in the community. The coordinated network is managed and operated locally by the Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry (ABCCM). ABCCM, known as the coordination center, centralizes intake and navigation of services, and routes clients electronically to the most appropriate care-givers based on eligibility of services. NCServes Western uses the Unite Us software to quickly match the client with service providers and tracks the entire interaction together with the community provider(s) to ensure quality, timeliness, and most importantly, the right outcome.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with NCServes Western and various community partners, as they will complement the Department of Veterans Affairs’ excellent patient centered programs and services,” said VA Medical Director Stephanie Young.
Charles George Veterans Affairs Medical Center (CGVAMC) is a Joint Commission accredited, tertiary referral, 1C facility that provides the full spectrum of health services to 48,000 Veterans residing in a 23-county area of Western North Carolina. The Medical Center has 119 authorized acute care beds (including a 16-bed inpatient psychiatric unit) with two state-of-the-art Intensive Care Units, 120 authorized Community Living Center (CLC) beds, and 18 authorized Substance Abuse Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program beds. In addition to services offered at the main campus, Charles George VAMC operates community based outpatient clinics (CBOCs) in Franklin, N.C., Rutherford County, N.C., and Hickory, N.C.
The NCServes Western Network, which is part of the national AmericaServes network administered by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University, is a coordinated network of public, private and nonprofit organizations serving Veterans, service members, and their families in North Carolina and around the United States. First launched in New York City, AmericaServes is active in 12 major cities, connecting Veterans to not only local services but to a national community from Seattle to San Antonio and Rochester, NY to Raleigh.
“ABCCM is honored to work in collaboration with dedicated providers to expand services and access to resources for our Veterans. We are proud and grateful for the leadership at NCServes Western that continue to build one of the strongest service coordinated Veterans Networks in the Nation.” Rev. Scott Rogers, ED ABCCM.
“Transforming how we simultaneously deliver healthcare and community services to our Veterans and their families takes continuous innovation and commitment” said Dan Brillman, Unite Us Co-Founder and CEO. “The launch of the Charles George VAMC kiosks is a significant step towards integrating care across the community, which ensures our Veterans and their families can access the services they need while improving outcomes along the continuum.”
“We are so pleased to work with the Asheville VA Medical Center as a new part of the AmericaServes movement,” said IVMF Managing Director Jim McDonough. “The VAMC has a proven track record of delivering care to Veterans and families in the Western North Carolina area and the Unite Us kiosk technology is a crucial addition to enhancing that delivery even further. As we continue to fill gaps for those underserved through enhanced coordination of care and extend access to care quickly and easily through the support of the VAMC, having ‘boots on the ground’ leaders like ABCCM is the key to success.”
Active duty, National Guard, Reserve Service members, as well as Veterans and their families who reside in North Carolina, are eligible for support from the network. All individuals who have served in the military regardless of age, era, or branch or discharge status are eligible for support from the coordination center. Although some services have limiting eligibility criteria, network care coordinators strive to find an appropriate local resource.
With over 40,000 Veteran organizations in the country offering medical, financial, employment, housing and other services, finding and accessing services has become the number one self-reported issue for Veterans and their families, according to a recent Blue Star Families survey. IVMF’s AmericaServes’ networks solve this problem by bringing together a wide range of vetted, service providers. Veterans and their families at the Asheville VA Medical Center can now work through the local NCServes Western kiosk right on site to identify what they need, and the kiosk matches them with service providers. Using the HIPPA-compliant Unite Us technology, each case is monitored to ensure people’s needs are met quickly and successfully.
Veterans, military members and families in need of assistance or more information should go to western.americaserves.org or call (855) WNC-VETS.