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VA marks the 10-year anniversary of My HealtheVet

SUN Columnist

In recognition of the 10th anniversary of its award-winning Personal Health Record, My HealtheVet (www.myhealth.va.gov), the Department of Veterans Affairs is urging all veterans and servicemembers to join the millions already accessing VA health care information and services online.  VA is marking this milestone by spreading the word about the benefits of My HealtheVet Personal Health Record, such as VA prescription refill, VA notes, VA Blue Button and secure messaging with VA health care providers.

“VA is a pioneer and a leader of health information technology that improves patient-provider relationships, embraces wellness and improves health outcomes for the brave men and women who have served our nation,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “VA invites all veterans and servicemembers to get online to become more active partners in their health care.”

Throughout November, My HealtheVet Coordinators at all 151 VA medical centers organized community events, host enrollment and education health fairs, lead training sessions and work with VA Voluntary Service to showcase how My HealtheVet contributes to more informed and more engaged veteran patients.  VA continues to build its My HealtheVet online health record, adding new online tools and features, and My HealtheVet Coordinators were geared up to accept new My HealtheVet enrollees throughout November.

“VA is dedicated to providing veterans with the best experience possible, both at VA facilities and online,” said Under Secretary for Health, Dr. Robert A. Petzel. “We are proud to celebrate a decade of online access for veterans and look forward to a future of even more access to meet their evolving needs.”

My HealtheVet is VA’s award-winning website that offers veterans secure access to portions of information in their VA health care records anywhere and anytime. Its web-based tools give users greater control over their care and wellness, helping them become active partners in their health care.

In addition to allowing veterans access to their records, My HealtheVet lets them save, print and share their health information using the VA Blue Button, refill VA prescriptions online and track their health activities. Veterans who upgrade their accounts, free of charge, can use secure messaging to communicate electronically with their VA health care teams between visits.  They can also view VA appointments, get VA Wellness Reminders, access VA lab results and more.

“We urge veterans and servicemembers to go online during November and throughout the year,” said Theresa Hancock, director of the My HealtheVet program. “My HealtheVet offers a flexible and convenient way for veterans to become engaged in their health care and well-being.”

My HealtheVet is celebrating 10 years of online access.  All veterans and servicemembers are encouraged to enroll or upgrade today at www.myhealth.va.gov.

Shinseki letter

The following letter was sent out to all veterans by Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.

“The blessings of freedom and justice, opportunity and prosperity, so dear to all Americans, were not gained without sacrifice, nor preserved without purpose.

“These blessings are at the heart of our American celebration of Thanksgiving, a holiday that acknowledges both our colonial roots and the beneficence of the Almighty.  Vital in that history was the sharing of the harvest by American Indians, enabling the preservation of our early settlers during those first winters in the New World.  Sharing one’s blessings and giving thanks for the bounties of the harvest, long a part of Native American culture, became part of our American Thanksgiving celebration, as well.  This cherished tradition endured and flourished as our Nation grew and prospered.

“Of this rich, new land, Thomas Jefferson once proclaimed to fellow Virginian, James Monroe, ‘My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!’ (Letter, June 17, 1785.)

“The principles and values that define us as Americans found their origins in Jefferson’s time and have been sustained since by the vigilance and valor of generation after generation of men and women who, in both peace and war, have safeguarded our way of life.  At the Department of Veterans Affairs, caring for those who, in President Abraham Lincoln’s words, ‘have borne the battle’ remains our noble mission.

“President Lincoln further established the last Thursday of November as a national ‘day of Thanksgiving’ for the benevolence and bounty that has been given to the American people.  On this uniquely American holiday, let us remember our good fortune at living in a land of plenty — safe, secure, and free from tyranny and oppression.

“Another courageous generation of young Americans serves today as a force for good in some of the most remote and unforgiving places in the world.  Many will observe Thanksgiving and the upcoming Holiday Season without the warmth and companionship of families and friends.  Their missions are difficult and dangerous, and they perform them without hesitation.  In this season of Thanksgiving, let us pray for their well-being and safe return.  As we gather at our own tables on November 28, let us not only give thanks for the blessings in our own lives, but give thanks for the men and women who now serve, and for those who have served on Thanksgivings past, ensuring for us and future generations of Americans the ‘precious blessing’ of liberty.

“Happy Thanksgiving to all our Veterans and their families, to the Survivors of the Fallen, and to my VA colleagues across our Department, who serve them so faithfully.  May God continue to bless this great and wonderful country of ours.”

Eric K. Shinseki

Further information

For further Information on VA benefits, call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office, located at the Senior Center in the Ross Aragon Community Center on Hot Springs Boulevard.

I will be out of the office on the following days for regular scheduled meetings:

• Vets4Vets: Tuesday mornings, 0900-1200.

• Arboles Community Center, first and third Thursdays. Back around 1400.

• Pagosa Outreach Connection, 0830 to 1000 every Thursday.

• Home visits/Pine Ridge outreach, second and fourth Thursdays, back at 1400.

The office number is 264-4013, fax number is 264-4014, cell number is 946-3590, and e-mail is raytaylor@archuletacounty.org. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Monday through Friday. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for completing applications to VA programs or benefits for which the veteran may be entitled to, and a copy for filing in the Archuleta County VSO office. If the office is closed, I am out assisting veterans, leave me a message and phone number to contact you.

The following veterans groups meet in Pagosa Springs:

• American Legion Post 108: second Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m., 287 Hermosa St.

• American Legion Post 108 Ladies Auxiliary: second Tuesday of the month at 4 p.m., 287 Hermosa St.

• Veterans for Veterans: Every Tuesday at 10 a.m., Quality Resort.

• Women’s Group of Spouses of Veterans: Every other Monday, 6 p.m. St. Patrick’s Episcopal Parish Hall, 225 S. Pagosa Blvd. Contact Charlotte: 731-1025.

• Point Man Ministries’ Breakfast for Veterans 8:30 a.m. each Tuesday at Buffalo Inn, 164 N. Pagosa Blvd. Contact Vincent:  (435) 618-0049, Vfortunato777@gmail.com.

Important numbers

• (970) 799-VETS, www.Vets4VetsPSCO.org.

• Durango VA Outpatient Clinic: 247-2214.

• Farmington VA Center: (505) 327-9684.

• The Veterans Crisis Line offers free, confidential support to veterans in crisis, as well as their family and friends 24/7/365. Call (800) 273-8255, chat online or text 838255.

This story was posted on December 12, 2013.