Veterans Have New Health Care Options

3/31/2016 - Peoria, Illinois

OSF HealthCare is now a participant in the VA Choice Provider Program, which means veterans who live in communities served by OSF HealthCare may now be eligible to see locally available health care providers without having to travel to a Veterans Health Administration (VA) facility.

Previously, residents of communities served by OSF HealthCare had to travel for certain types of medical care. For example, a veteran living in Peoria might have been required to travel to Danville or Indianapolis for a consultation or procedure that was available locally through OSF HealthCare. These drive times encroached on two and three hours, sometimes longer, depending which community the veteran was living in.

“OSF HealthCare is honored to collaborate with the Veterans Health Administration to ensure veterans receive timely and convenient access to the high quality medical care they need,” said Melody Berry, Vice President of Accountable Care Services at OSF HealthCare. “Whether a veteran has a heart problem, diabetes, or one of many other medical conditions, we are happy to be in a position to help.”

Joe Stabler, a veteran now living in Kewanee, can attest to the care OSF provides. Stabler was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1955 after serving in Korea. He had a heart attack several years ago but made a full recovery thanks to HeartCare Midwest, part of OSF HealthCare. “My care team was wonderful,” said Joe.

Joe’s wife, Lois, echoed his sentiments. “We’ve never seen anything like it,” said Lois. “The kindness with which OSF treats everyone is remarkable.”

The Stablers now lead an active life, volunteering at their local hospital, OSF Saint Luke Medical Center, every week, assisting with military funerals, the bloodmobile, and greeting and serving communion at their church.

“I recommend other veterans needing to see a specialist for their medical care see an OSF doctor,” said Joe. “Seeing a doctor right in your local town is convenient, and with OSF, you know they’re going to be good.”

For veterans, using this program does not impact their existing VA health care or any other VA benefit. Veterans must work with the VA in accessing VA Choice Provider services. 

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