Windber hospital to focus on care for veterans

Posted: 11/1/2010

Chan Soon-Shiong Medical Center at Windber president and CEO Barbara Cliff announced on Monday night that the facility would be taking another step into the future.

“We will officially begin to introduce VeteranCare, a new niche of WindberCare at Windber Medical Center,” Cliff said while speaking to employees who have served in the military.

“VeteranCare is being developed as a type of Planetree patient-centered care that responds to the unique needs of veterans within an acute care hospital. The program will also extend to veterans within our home care and hospice.”

The name VeteranCare was developed by Windber Medical Center.

“It is consistent with our brand of care, which is WindberCare,” Cliff said.

The new program does not include additional employees at this time, Cliff said.

“We do not anticipate there will be additional jobs,” she said. “We will be integrating VeteranCare into what we already do.”

Pennsylvania is one of five states that is home to more than 1 million veterans of the armed forces, according to a hospital press release. About 21 percent of U.S. veterans are cared for in the VA system. Acute care hospitals, such as Windber Medical Center, care for most of the nation’s veterans. Nearly 40 percent of all veterans are from the Vietnam era and are reaching an age of greater health care needs, according to the release.

As the only Planetree patient-centered care hospital in Pennsylvania and one of only 12 Planetree designated hospitals in the world, Windber Medical Center is uniquely positioned to enhance the inpatient and outpatient care of veterans from a mind, body and spiritual perspective, Cliff said. As for those veterans who are currently cared for within the VA system, she said the hospital will continue to support that setting for their primary care.

Cliff added that hospital staff will go through training to better understand the unique needs of veterans.

Various elements of the program will be implemented by Dec. 1. The development and refinement of VeteranCare will be ongoing, she said.

“Windber Medical Center is proud to be instituting VeteranCare within our Planetree patient-centered care environment. It is an honor to care for veterans and to extend thanks and appreciation to those who have been willing to make the ultimate sacrifice in protecting our country,” she said.

Source: Daily American