The Healthcare in Our Community Alliance
Veterans’ healthcare nowadays requires a community-wide investment and commitment to meet their needs. Sometimes these needs are unique. Sometimes they sustain long-term illnesses or life-threatening injuries. As a result, the Lehigh Valley Military Affairs Council (LVMAC), since 2011, has sought to work in a collaborative manner to assist the U.S. Departments of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) and any other other governmental health care agencies, inclusive of state and local, towards accomplishing their missions of providing first-class care to military service members, military veterans and their families.
Our aim is that Lehigh Valley’s military service members, veterans and their families receive accessible and integrated health care services of the highest quality along the full continuum of care, including specialized services unique to their needs, no matter the source. In reality, the vast majority of veterans and their families living here depend upon community hospital networks when they seek care. Indeed, less than 20% of veterans in the Lehigh Valley derive any form of healthcare from the VA. Though that percentage could be higher for various reasons, ultimately most would are ineligible — a little known fact and one not fully appreciated by the the general public.
Since LVMAC tries to deal with realities, it consequently believes proactive awareness by and education of the local, professional medical establishment is necessary.
One result has been the formation of an active alliance called the Healthcare in Our Community Task Force or Alliance. All the hospital networks in the area and then some are involved:
- Coordinated Health
- Easton Hospital
- Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network
- Grand View Health
- Lancaster General Health
- Lehigh Valley Health Network
- Pocono Medical Center
- Sacred Heart Hospital
- St. Luke’s University Health Network
In addition these organizations participate, since the effort requires additional expert advice:
- Heartland Hospice
- Treatment Trends Inc.
- New Vitae Wellness and Recovery
- Victory House of the Lehigh Valley
Most of the work involves medical professional education and changes to operating protocols — all largely unseen or unnoticed to the patient.