BIll Harding: VFW offers transports to VA Medical Center |

BIll Harding: VFW offers transports to VA Medical Center

Bill Harding

Bill Harding, Veterans Service Officer

Veteran van transports

Veteran transports to the VA Medical Center in Grand Junction provided by the VFW and Moffat County funded van system has provided rides for more than 160 vets between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30.

We have ranged from 7 to 12 trips per month, averaging 9.1 trips per month.

Our rider load even with single riders has ranged from 7 to 28 riders per month with an average on 18 per month.

Veteran flu shots

Shot appointments will now be scheduled since the vaccine supply has arrived. Flu shot walk-ins will start Oct. 20 at the Craig Telehealth Clinic, 551 Tucker Street.

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If you get a flu shot from another provider, make sure that info gets into your medical history log. The same with any other vaccination you get elsewhere.

Good news for Moffat county vets is that to enroll in the VAMC healthcare system once the new staff is in place at the clinic will not mean a trip to the main facility in Grand Junction.

The new staff is to include a PA, on site, who will do the physical assessment. If there are significant health issues, it still may mean a trip to VAMC GJ for proper treatment or further testing.

Records of wounded patients

Instant electronic medical information from the Department of Defense about severely wounded troops soon will be transferred to four Department of Veterans Affairs special treatment centers.

The two departments completed a successful pilot

project sharing patient information between Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the Polytrauma Unit at the Tampa, Fla., and VA Medical Center.

The pilot’s expansion will share enhanced data between VA’s four polytrauma centers in Tampa, Fla.; Richmond, Va.; Minneapolis; and Palo Alto, Calif.; and all Army medical treatment facilities.

The patient information to be shared between DoD and VA involves electronic notes on the patient’s situation and background, an assessment of his or her condition, and recommendations for future care.

This uniform, standard method of communicating patient information will ensure veterans receive high quality care immediately after being transferred and the information is available and accessible at all times.

“I’m proud to announce the launch of this partnership,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake.

“Because it is targeted at

severely wounded veterans transferring directly from DoD to VA, it enhances their care.” The VA-funded project is the result of collaboration among VA and DoD nurses and information technology professionals.

The departments are

working to make all of their electronic patient records interoperable.

Peake said the announcement represents a significant step forward in those efforts.

American Legion rifle raffle

The winner was drawn at the Elk’s Club on Saturday Oct. 11 during the Am Leg Bingo session.

The name drawn was Kathy Oberwitte from Craig.

The Legion and its members wish to thank all who participated in this fund raising event.

Craig Telehealth Clinic staff rear-ended

Debbra Nicholas-Olson, the VAMC staff member covering the Craig VA Clinic, was rear-ended early Monday morning while traveling to Craig from Grand Junction.

The highway was temporarily shutdown with an oversized load in transport.

It was dark and traffic had been driving from 0 to 20 mph for quite some time.

The pickup behind her forgot to stop during one of the pauses about 20 miles south of Craig.

Deb received minor injuries but her [not VA] vehicle was moderately damaged.

She continued on and opened the clinic Tuesday after the federal Columbus Day Holiday.

If you’ve worked with Deb, stop in and wish her well.

For information on these programs and/or other veterans’ benefits, call or stop in the Moffat County VSO office at 480 Barclay St. (west of the Bank of Colorado parking lot).

Call 970-824-3246 or use the fax 970-824-7108.

Our e-mail address is

The office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Other times can be arranged by appointment only.

Bring a copy of your separation papers (DD-214) for application for VA programs and for filing at our office.