VA and Elizabeth Dole Foundation
Launch virtual training Academy on caregiver inclusion for VA providers in Michigan
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Elizabeth Dole Foundation launched the Campaign for Inclusive Care on January 31 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Senator Elizabeth Dole unveiled the Academy, which comprises a series of virtual tutorials designed to provide VA personnel important guidance on including caregivers in Veterans’ health care teams. The training will be piloted by VA providers in eight states primarily, including Michigan.
“The concept behind the Campaign is simple, but our vision for where it will take us is groundbreaking,” said Senator Elizabeth Dole. “By equipping VA medical personnel with the latest strategies for integrating caregivers, we will create a model for care in the VA that will one day serve as the new standard for every health system nationwide.”
The Campaign for Inclusive Care Academy will be rolled out across three VA regions, known as Veteran Integrated Service Networks (VISNs), in the Midwest, Texas and the Pacific Northwest. All three VISN were represented at the Academy’s launch. Following the pilot phase, the Foundation and VA anticipate expanding the available courses and offering the training to VA staff nationwide.
“This effort will enhance all VA clinical programs where clinicians interact with Veterans and caregivers. VA doctors, nurses, social workers and staff members in this pilot program have a tremendous opportunity to take advantage of the Academy,” noted Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie.
At the launch, NBC News Medical Correspondent Dr. John Torres facilitated a panel discussion of VA clinicians, issue experts and caregivers. Dr. Torres narrates the four video tutorials that comprise the Academy. The tutorials are posted online, take an hour in total to complete, and are available at no-cost to the participant.
The Elizabeth Dole Foundation determined that including caregivers in their veterans’ health care teams was one of the most significant ways to improve the veteran caregiver experience. A Duke University study, “Including Family Caregivers In Seriously Ill Veterans’ Care,” conducted in partnership with the Foundation and VA, provided the underlying research for the courses.
For information about the academy visit the Campaign for Inclusive Care.
About Elizabeth Dole Foundation and Hidden Heroes
The Elizabeth Dole Foundation is the preeminent organization empowering, supporting, and honoring our nation’s 5.5 million military caregivers – the spouses, parents, family members, and friends — who care for America’s wounded, ill or injured service members and Veterans at home. Founded by Senator Elizabeth Dole in 2012, the Foundation adopts a comprehensive approach in its support and advocacy, working with leaders in the public, private, nonprofit, and faith communities to recognize military caregivers’ service and promote their well-being. The Foundation’s Hidden Heroes campaign brings vital attention to the untold stories of military caregivers and provides a network for military caregivers to connect with their peers and access carefully vetted resources. Visit http://www.hiddenheroes.org/ for more information.
About the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Caregiver Support Program
The Caregiver Support Program (CSP) focuses on the needs of Veteran caregivers. The CSP offers two programs to support caregivers of eligible Veterans, the Program of General Caregiver Support Services and the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers. Caregivers of Veterans in both CSP programs have access to education/training, self-care classes, diagnosis-specific support groups, respite care, peer mentoring, the Caregiver Support Line, the CSP website, along with other VA services. In addition, Caregiver Support Coordinators, licensed clinicians located at every VA medical center, are available to offer support and help connect caregivers to needed resources. Caregivers and Veterans can learn about the full range of available support and programs by visiting www.caregiver.va.gov, contacting the Caregiver Support Line toll-free at 1-855-260-3274, and through their local VA Caregiver Support Program.
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