St. Vincent’s Sites of Care Now Veteran Providers
Vets Can Now Receive Care from St. Vincent’s Physicians through the Veterans Choice Program
Today St. Vincent’s HealthCare announced a partnership to provide care through the Veterans Choice Program, giving veterans the choice to receive care at St. Vincent’s locations throughout northeast Florida and southeast Georgia. As part of Ascension, the nation’s largest nonprofit healthcare system and the world’s largest Catholic health system, St. Vincent’s joins 23 other states and the District of Columbia in sustaining and improving the health of individuals and our communities by serving as an official provider of veteran care outside the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Now qualified U.S. veterans who face wait times in excess of 30 days at the VA or have to travel farther than 40 miles from their home can receive care from St. Vincent’s doctors at more than 50 sites of care across the region.
“St. Vincent’s has a long history of caring for those who serve and defend the freedoms we’re so blessed to enjoy. The Daughters of Charity took care of soldiers during the Spanish American War by staffing a field hospital near Hogan’s Creek in 1888. Then around 1940, the Navy asked St. Vincent’s to train physicians at Naval Air Station Jacksonville. It is truly our privilege to serve those who so courageously serve us,” said Tom VanOsdol, System Chief Operating Officer, Jacksonville Ministry Market.
The Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs reports that Florida has the third largest population of veterans in the nation. More than 1.5 million veterans call our state home. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 140,000 veterans live in Northeast Florida alone.
The Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 established funding to pay for healthcare services provided to veterans by private healthcare providers. Through the partnership, St. Vincent’s physicians and other caregivers are authorized to provide primary care, inpatient and outpatient specialty care, and mental health services for eligible veterans outside of the VA.
“The Veterans Choice program fits perfectly with our Mission to provide personalized, compassionate care to those who are struggling the most,” said Dr. Huson Gilberstadt, Chief Clinical Officer, Jacksonville Ministry Market. “Our goal is to meet people where they are, at any stage of their life, and we are thrilled to be able to improve access for our local veterans.”
Nearly 9 million veterans received the Veterans Choice Card. Use of the card is strictly voluntary. Veterans who qualify for VA healthcare can continue to receive care at a VA medical facility as they have in the past. The program will end when the allocated funds of $10 billion are used or no later than August 7, 2017.
Veterans can determine eligibility for the Veterans Choice Program at http://www.va.gov/opa/choiceact/ or by calling the number on their Choice Card, 1-866-606-8198.
U.S. veterans, St. Vincent’s patients and caregivers who are interested in learning more about the Veterans Choice Program are encouraged to visit www.ascension.org/veterans.