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Veteran Affairs (VA)  was created to help improve the lives of veterans, and those they hire have the same goal. You can help make a difference by participating in research or even calling up veterans to give them a listening ear. VA strives to give employees the opportunity to be leaders in a healthcare organization designed to help veterans. Here are some ways VA employees have helped improve the lives of veterans.

 

The use of 3D Printing

Employees have created kidney models on 3D printers in order to help save time during surgeries. Physicians at VA Puget Sound Health Care System are able to use the printings to help them prepare before surgery. This also benefits the patients who don’t have to be under anesthesia as long. Therapists also use the 3D printers to manufacture specialized orthotics which doesn’t call for veterans to make multiple visits for fittings. When one thinks of a printer you normally don’t see it as a helping hand for veterans but in this case, it has made a great impact!

 

Keeping Veterans Connected

The Connected Care initiative includes mobile apps, telehealth, and many other digital health solutions for veterans. This initiative serves to help the 3 million Veterans enrolled in VA health care receive treatment by giving them the option to not have to travel to a VA facility. In 2019 there were 900,000 veterans who successfully completed telehealth appointments. There is also the option to connect with a physician through video conferencing.

Veterans can do this by using My HealtheVet and can access medical records, check lab results, and refill prescriptions all on the app. 

 

Artificial Intelligence

The Veterans Signals platform is well known for surveying Veterans and eligible dependents of their experience with VA, but they do much more. When Veterans write feedback stating that they may be at risk for suicide or homelessness an artificial intelligence steps in. This technology is able to create free-text responses to veterans and route them to the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans and Veterans Crisis Line. In June of 2019, it was stated that nearly 700 suicide crises and over 300 homelessness crises were reported to VA. Through this technology, experts are able to identify veterans who may be at risk and save a life before it’s too late.