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VA's Shared Medical Appointments Help Vets With Diabetes, Heart Failure

The appointments are held at the Castle Point VA campus in Wappingers Falls, pictured, and the Franklin D. Roosevelt VA campus in Montrose.
The appointments are held at the Castle Point VA campus in Wappingers Falls, pictured, and the Franklin D. Roosevelt VA campus in Montrose. Photo Credit: Veterans Administration

Diabetes and congestive heart failure health in a group setting are the focus of shared medical appointment sessions now being conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs Hudson Valley Health Care System in Wappingers Falls and Montrose.

“This modality of delivering care is very efficient, and patients report high levels of satisfaction when they come to these group medical appointments,” said Yurcania Villalona, veterans health educator coordinator at VA Hudson Valley in Montrose. “Veterans have an opportunity to evaluate each session and tell us what they liked or didn’t like and most of the time what they don’t like is that they are so engaged they want more time to discuss. Hence, the clinicians stay for an added 30 minutes to answer individual questions.”

Patients receive care they would get from their health-care provider, including vital signs, lab work, medication review and consults as needed. A doctor, nurse, nutritionist, pharmacist, certified diabetic educator and invited guests will be present. For the CHF group, a cardiologist will be part of the core team.

The sessions are free for service-connected veterans. For those who are not, they will be charged at the rate of a primary care visit. If participants have not seen a primary care provider at either Castle Point or at Montrose, then they should register at the eligibility office.

The diabetes group: Meets the third Friday of every month at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Montrose campus, Montrose,, in Building. 15, room 7, at 8:30 a.m. The Castle Point campus, Wappingers Falls, N.Y., group meets the third Tuesday of every month in the multipurpose room, Bldg. 19, room 100 at 8:30 a.m.

The congestive heart failure health group: Begins in January and is slated to meet the second Wednesday of every month, in Building 15, room 7, at 8:30 a.m. At Castle Point, the congestive heart failure health group will meet every third Thursday. For January and February, the group will meet in the large classroom of Building13 at 8:30 am.

For eligibility or enrollment, call 845-831-2000 ext. 5100.

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