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Reaching Rural Veterans A Partnership Model to Connect Rural Veterans with Aging and Disability Resource Centers for Options Counseling.

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Presentation on theme: "Reaching Rural Veterans A Partnership Model to Connect Rural Veterans with Aging and Disability Resource Centers for Options Counseling."— Presentation transcript:

1 Reaching Rural Veterans A Partnership Model to Connect Rural Veterans with Aging and Disability Resource Centers for Options Counseling

2 Presenters Jennifer Morgan Jennifer Morgan Director, Utah Aging & Disability Resource Center Director, Utah Aging & Disability Resource Center Bret Hicken Bret Hicken Geriatrics Lead, Veterans Rural Health Resource Center-Western Region Geriatrics Lead, Veterans Rural Health Resource Center-Western Region

3 Outline Introductions Introductions Who are rural Veterans? Who are rural Veterans? Improving access for rural Veterans Improving access for rural Veterans ADRC Survey ADRC Survey Options counseling project Options counseling project

4 Survey Are you working with Veteran clients? Are you working with Veteran clients? Do you routinely ask if a client is a Veteran? Do you routinely ask if a client is a Veteran? When you find out a client is a Veteran, do you know how to help him or her access their benefits? When you find out a client is a Veteran, do you know how to help him or her access their benefits?

5 Rural Veterans 30% of US Military Veterans live in rural areas 30% of US Military Veterans live in rural areas Rural youths 22% more likely to enlist in military Rural youths 22% more likely to enlist in military Limited access to: Limited access to: VA Healthcare (incl. mental health) VA Healthcare (incl. mental health) VA information resources VA information resources Assistance with enrollment and applications Assistance with enrollment and applications

6 VHA Office of Rural Health Mission Improve access and quality of care for rural Veterans

7 ORH Strategic Focus Areas

8 VHA Office of Rural Health Central Region Iowa City, IA Eastern Region, Gainesville, FL ORH Washington, DC Western Region Salt Lake City, UT

9 Utah Aging & Disability Resource Connection Mission To serve as single point of entry into the long-term supports and services system for older adults and people with disabilities and their caregivers.

10 Utah Counties Served by ADRC’s Two Additional ADRC Sites in 2013/2014 Five County (Southern Utah) Davis County Family and Aging Services

11 Utah ADRC Area Agencies on Aging Bear River** Bear River** Salt Lake County Aging Services** Salt Lake County Aging Services** Mountainland** Mountainland** Centers for Independent Living Ability First Ability First Active Re-Entry Active Re-Entry Roads to Independence Roads to Independence **Currently participating in project (data)

12 Information about Veteran Benefits 2010 National Survey of Veterans 41.0% had basic understanding of their VA benefits 41.0% had basic understanding of their VA benefits Knowledge of specific benefits lower Knowledge of specific benefits lower 28% had used VA healthcare 28% had used VA healthcare 42% of nonusers not aware of VA healthcare benefits 42% of nonusers not aware of VA healthcare benefits 26% did not know how to apply for healthcare 26% did not know how to apply for healthcarehttp://www.va.gov/SURVIVORS/docs/NVSSurveyFinalWeightedReport.pdf

13 Improving Access to Information Bring the veteran to the VA Bring the veteran to the VA Transporting rural veterans to urban VA facilities Transporting rural veterans to urban VA facilities Take the VA to the veteran Take the VA to the veteran Employing mobile methods to reach out to Veteran Employing mobile methods to reach out to Veteran Virtual outreach Virtual outreach Web or telehealth Web or telehealth Collaborate with non-VA organizations in rural community Collaborate with non-VA organizations in rural community

14 Looking for information? Respite Financial Needs Home Care Transportation Legal Assistance Medical Care Adaptive Equipment Long Term Care Peer Support End Of Life Care

15 ADRC Survey Do you regularly assess a caller’s Veteran status?

16 Challenges… Rarely connect with VA to address Veteran needs Rarely connect with VA to address Veteran needs Lack basic information about most VA benefits Lack basic information about most VA benefits General awareness of VA information resources—not very helpful General awareness of VA information resources—not very helpful Most positive feelings about VA resources with a personal contact at VA Most positive feelings about VA resources with a personal contact at VA

17 “Come down and work with our case managers, help us have contacts, help understand the paperwork and what is needed.” Respondent Comment

18 ADRC/VA Pilot Project Collaboration between Collaboration between Utah ADRC Utah ADRC Salt Lake VA Regional Office Salt Lake VA Regional Office Salt Lake VA Medical Center Salt Lake VA Medical Center ORH Funding ORH Funding Start date: March 2013 Start date: March 2013

19 Goals Create access point for rural Veterans Create access point for rural Veterans Provide options counselors training in VA Benefits Provide options counselors training in VA Benefits Build relationships with the VA and ADRC Build relationships with the VA and ADRC Expand to all Utah ADRC sites in rural areas Expand to all Utah ADRC sites in rural areas Disseminate to ADRC programs nationwide Disseminate to ADRC programs nationwide

20 Pilot Intervention VA Benefit Specialists provide in depth training to all options counselors at ADRC agencies in Utah. VA Benefit Specialists provide in depth training to all options counselors at ADRC agencies in Utah. Training on benefits, eligibility, and enrollment/application procedures. Training on benefits, eligibility, and enrollment/application procedures. Building a relationship between the VA resources at the Medical Center and within communities. Building a relationship between the VA resources at the Medical Center and within communities. Options Counselors use their expertise along with their new knowledge of Veteran Benefits to help local Veteran clients. Options Counselors use their expertise along with their new knowledge of Veteran Benefits to help local Veteran clients.

21 Training Content Since February 2013 Veteran Benefits Specialist has provided 5 in depth trainings to ADRC Options Counselors statewide Veteran Benefits Specialist has provided 5 in depth trainings to ADRC Options Counselors statewide Utah ADRC Annual Meeting August 2013 Utah ADRC Annual Meeting August 2013 Veteran Health Administration Veteran Health Administration Service and Benefits On the job training – working with VA Outreach Specialist On the job training – working with VA Outreach Specialist As of September 1, key Options Counselors have over 20 hours of VA Benefits training As of September 1, key Options Counselors have over 20 hours of VA Benefits training

22 ADRC Options Counselor “The information provided yesterday (and at the previous training) was very helpful because I knew where to look to find the answers. This was the first time I felt somewhat knowledgeable in this area. Just wanted to say thanks for all your support!”

23 An Options Counselor asks… “Have you ever served in the Military?”

24 Initial Successes First month of data showed an major increase in referrals to Veteran Programs. First month of data showed an major increase in referrals to Veteran Programs. Veteran clients and caregivers realize a true one stop shop receiving information on veteran, public and private programs. Veteran clients and caregivers realize a true one stop shop receiving information on veteran, public and private programs. ADRC sites are incorporating Veterans information into their existing outreach efforts and looking for more non traditional settings for outreach. ADRC sites are incorporating Veterans information into their existing outreach efforts and looking for more non traditional settings for outreach.

25 No Wrong Door      Public, Private, and Veteran Programs Older Adults People with Disabilities Veterans

26 Why Community Partnerships?

27 Making Connection within Communities “Knock” “Knock”

28 Long term Impact By project completion, our aim through these trainings and outreach events is for Options Counselors to be able to assist Veterans with basic benefit questions and to know how and where to refer Veterans for more complex needs. By project completion, our aim through these trainings and outreach events is for Options Counselors to be able to assist Veterans with basic benefit questions and to know how and where to refer Veterans for more complex needs. A designated Options Counselor at each agency will become accredited to help veterans fill out paperwork A designated Options Counselor at each agency will become accredited to help veterans fill out paperwork

29 Collaborative Community Outreach VA VA

30 Think Win Win…Win Communities Communities Agencies able to connect Veterans to VA resources Agencies able to connect Veterans to VA resources Expanded services to clients Expanded services to clients VA VA Improved access to Veterans Improved access to Veterans VA able to connect Veterans to community resources VA able to connect Veterans to community resources Veterans Veterans Improved access to community and VA resources Improved access to community and VA resources

31 Questions?


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