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Erie VA Medical Center


Achieving Patient Health Care Goals

April 2, 2013

Sometimes, you just need a little help and direction. At the Erie VAMC, we believe in going that extra step to make sure the Veterans' needs – from addressing financial concerns, to developing a plan to build employment or social skills, to arranging for in-home skilled services to help Veterans remain in their home as long and as safely as possible. Erie VA's social workers are there to do just that.

In 1992, Erie VA employed six social workers. Today, there are 33 social workers on staff, which reflects the expansion of programs and the commitment to provide patient-centered care.

Addressing Concerns

Social workers meet with the Veterans and his or her family to identify any concerns or needs through assessments, screening, education, and case management. Social workers assist Veterans in addressing a wide variety of issues, including:

  • Assisting with the completion of advance care planning documents
  • Addressing financial concerns such as placing claims, filing for a hardship waiver, or filing forms for outstanding bills
  • Developing a plan to build employment or social skills to help Veterans find and maintain jobs
  • Arranging for in-home skilled services to help Veterans remain in their home as long and as safely as possible
  • Ensuring patients have all the resources needed for a safe discharge home
  • Providing counseling on issues related to post-traumatic stress disorder, homelessness, substance abuse, depression and much more
  • Assisting with nursing home placement options
  • Setting up in-home respite care to give the caregiver a reprieve

Comprehensive Programs

Social workers are involved in a number of programs and specialty care areas throughout the Medical Center.

  • Acute Care
  • Behavioral Health
  • Caregiver Support
  • Community Living Center (nursing home)
  • Homeless Support Services
  • Geriatrics and Extended Care
  • Health Promotion Disease Prevention
  • Home-Based Primary Care
  • Hospice and Palliative Care
  • Primary Care
  • Primary Care/Mental Health Integration
  • Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery
  • Returning Service Members
  • Enhanced Rural Access Network for Growth (E-RANGE)
  • Spinal Cord Injury and Disorder Program
  • Substance Abuse
  • Suicide Prevention
  • Visual Impairment Services
  • Tobacco Cessation

Talk to your health care team at your next appointment about your goals and learn what resources will help you meet them.