The largest medical provider in the United States has recognized the vital role Chiropractic healing plays in the health of their patients. As a result, this enormous service organization has greatly expanded the level of Chiropractic care available to the millions of individuals.
That organization is the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), the largest direct health care provider in the U.S. by far.
It’s excellent news for veterans that Chiropractic healing became part of the VHA service package in 2001 – even though it took an Act of Congress to do it. At that time, Chiropractic services were ordered into each of the 21 geographic regions of the VHA. By the year 2004 this was fully implemented.
Twenty-four million living veterans and 38 million living survivors and dependents – totalling 62 million people – are now eligible for Chiropractic services through the VHA. To provide a picture of the magnitude of the service facility, the VHA operates 154 hospitals, 136 nursing home units, 43 residential rehabilitation facilities, 875 outpatient clinics, and 206 Veterans centers. The VHA staff totals over 200,000 health care providers with a budget of $32 billion annually.
Chiropractors now play a vital role as specialty care providers to veterans in each of the 21 regions. Some DCs are full-time staff, others are contractors and some work on a part-time basis. In all cases, they work as part of an integrated team to provide enhanced care to veterans. They work on a wide variety of neuromusculoskeletal conditions after being referred by a primary care physician. As one might imagine, veteran’s health situations can be very complex.
One Chiropractor who provides care to veterans is Anthony J. Lisi of Connecticut. He sees great value in the service provided to veterans by Chiropractors and likes working as part of a professional team to help veterans. “There is an atmosphere of collegiality and cooperation for the patients’ best interests, which leads to a willingness among providers to consider Chiropractic treatment for their given patients. This is evidenced by the fact that virtually every Chiropractic clinic in the VHA is fully booked well in advance. There has been no shortage of patients reaching the Chiropractic clinics.”
Dr. Lisi adds that this new benefit not only helps the veterans, it also improves the field of Chiropractic itself as the VA is the country’s largest trainer of medical personnel. Patients learn about the benefits of Chiropractic and can tell others, and all types of medical personnel learn from seeing their patients improve because of their Chiropractic treatment. That’s good for everyone.
For Your Health,
Dr. Steven M. Gillis