VETERANS AND ARMED FORCES HEALTH PROMOTION ACT OF 2013
LEGISLATION TO IMPROVE HEALTHCARE FOR VETERANS AND MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES
The Problem: Alternatives to Traditional Health Care
Currently, VA provides health care for over 6.5 million unique patients in the United States. Additionally, VA estimates treating over 674,000 veterans of the most recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. VA furnishes health care to veterans and eligible beneficiaries across the country at its 152 medical centers, 840 community-based outpatient clinics, and 300 Vet Centers, 70 mobile Vet Centers and 11 mobile outpatient clinics.
The mission of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has traditionally been treating disease and illness. Health care that improves the health and well-being of veterans is limited at VA. Similarly, research on the benefits of Wellness and Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) in conjunction with primary or mental health care services remains limited as well. Currently, VA has five established Centers of Innovation and medical centers built after 2012, will also include a Center.
The Solution: Veterans’ and Armed Forces Health Promotion Act of 2013
• Materially and substantially expand the scope of research and education on delivery of holistic care to veterans and members of the Armed Forces that includes complementary and alternative medicine.
• Establishes additional sites (with emphasis in rural areas and states without military installations) for purposes of establishing CAM therapies in primary care settings.
• Authorizes the awarding of grants to State and city agencies, as well as community-based nonprofit organizations that provide combat veterans and their family members access to wellness programs, while enhancing the coordination between VA and such state, city, or community-based organizations furnishing wellness programs as an alternative to traditional care.
• Directs VA to examine partnerships between fitness centers and VA medical facilities in order to increase membership as an aspect of preventative health care for veterans, and also directs VA to provide comprehensive medical nutrition therapy.
• Creates a pilot program to upgrade VSO community facilities, such as the local VFW, into health and wellness centers.
For more information visit http://action.timryanforcongress.com/page/s/stand-with-vets
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