GovernmentCIO: VA Prepares for COVID-19 ‘Aftershock,’ Offers Additional Support Services

“The Department of Veterans Affairs is continuing to drive COVID-19 response efforts to support veterans and minorities, and is bracing for the “aftershock” of the pandemic, said Dr. Carolyn Clancy, VA’s acting deputy secretary.”

“’Our health care providers continue their herculean efforts in their relentless fight against the pandemic. Because of them, we’re seeing very promising signs: more people getting vaccinated, fewer reported infections and, very importantly, fewer reported deaths,’ Clancy said during ACT-IAC’s 2021 Health Innovation Summit.”

“In late May, VA reported that, for the first time in 14 months, no veteran in a VA health care facilities died of COVID-19. During the height of the pandemic, the department reported a high of 36 deaths per day. This is a major milestone, Clancy explained, and it is because of the efforts made by the health care community…”

“One of the ways the VA was able to respond so quickly to the pandemic was the department’s digital transformation, which was already underway prior to the onset of COVID-19. While VA’s modernization priorities helped the department rapidly scale, ‘COVID-19 forced us into the future by five years,’ Clancy said…”

“However, VA is preparing for a surge of veterans that will come into facilities for in-person visits for surgeries and physical examinations. In addition to deferred care, VA is also expecting to see a rise in mental illnesses.”

“’We’re bracing for a simmering mental health epidemic in the wake of the pandemic,’ Clancy said. She noted that it is vital to integrate mental health providers into patient aligned care teams to respond to the “aftershock” of the pandemic…” Read the full article here.

Source: VA Prepares for COVID-19 ‘Aftershock,’ Offers Additional Support Services – By Sarah Sybert, June 10, 2021. GovernmentCIO.



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