Dr. William Winkenwerder Jr., assistant secretary of Defense for health affairs, announced today selection of eight medical sites that will participate in joint demonstrations with Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities. These demonstrations, mandated by the fiscal 2003 National Defense Authorization Act, will include cooperation in three separate areas: budget and financial management, staffing and assignment, and medical information and information technology systems.
“These demonstration projects reflect the determination and desire by those in both the military and VA healthcare systems to improve the delivery of care for our beneficiaries,” stated Winkenwerder. “The demonstrations are part of our joint strategic planning initiative designed to enhance the quality, efficiency and effectiveness for the delivery of benefits and services to veterans, servicemembers, military retirees and their families,” he said. The DoD/VA Health Executive Council, based on the recommendations of a joint DoD/VA working group, selected the eight sites from a list of hospitals that had applied to participate. These demonstration projects will run through fiscal 2007.
The budget and financial management demonstrations will be at two locations. These are in Hawaii between Tripler Army Medical Center and the VA Pacific Islands Health Care System, and in Anchorage, Alaska, between the Air Force 3rd Medical Group and the Alaska VA Health Care System.
The staffing and assignment demonstrations will be in three geographic areas. These are the Seattle/Tacoma, Wash., area between Madigan Army Medical Center and the Puget Sound VA Health Care System; in Augusta, Ga., between Eisenhower Army Medical Center and the Augusta VA Health Care System, and in Hampton, Va., between Langley Air Force Base 1st Medical Group and the Hampton VA Medical Center.
The medical information and information technology systems demonstration also will at three locations. In the Seattle/Tacoma area, the demonstration will be between Madigan Army Medical Center and the Puget Sound VA Health Care System, in El Paso, Texas, between William Beaumont Army Medical Center and the El Paso VA Health Care System, and in San Antonio, Texas, between at Air Force Wilford Hall and Brooke Army Medical Centers and the South Texas VA Health Care System.
The DoD-VA goals are to continue to improve leadership commitment and accountability; provide high-quality health care for beneficiaries through seamless, coordinated benefits programs; to maximize the integration of information sharing and efficiencies of operations; and participate in joint contingency and readiness capabilities.