Guam Veterans to see continued improvement at the Guam CBOC
Looking to address the concerns of Guam’s Veterans, Senator Frank B. Aguon, Jr., met with the leadership of the VA Pacific Islands Healthcare System (VAPHICS) and Dr. Helene Head, Primary Care Provider for the Guam Community Outpatient Based Clinic (CBOC) to discuss the waitlist at the CBOC and the possibility for additional staff for the CBOC to ensure timely and accessible care for Guam’s Veterans.
Mr. Wayne Pfeffer, Director of the VAPHICS, states that there are thirty-nine Veterans scheduled for an appointment at the CBOC as of Wednesday, July 17, 2014. Mr. Pfeffer states that this number could be lower as some of these Veterans have not been continuing patients at the CBOC; but have previously been scheduled for an appointment when they were requesting for services from the clinic. Additionally, the Guam CBOC is working diligently to contact the Veterans who are on the waitlist. Moreover, Mr. Pfeffer states that there are ongoing efforts to eliminate the waitlist at the Guam CBOC.
“With the recent concerns voiced regarding the waitlist, and staffing challenges at the Guam CBOC, I am pleased that the leadership of VAPHICS and Dr. Head continues to take these concerns seriously by aggressively working on plans of resolve to improve the quality of care for Guam’s Veterans,” said Senator Frank B. Aguon, Jr.
Additionally, Mr. Pfeffer states a nurse practitioner is scheduled to begin providing support to the clinic starting next Monday, July 21, 2014. Furthermore, Mr. Pfeffer indicates that the physicians from the Naval Hospital in Guam will be able to provide assistance with the delivery of services at the Guam CBOC as the hospital will be in full capacity in August 2014.
Further understanding the need to address the staffing challenges at the CBOC, Mr. Pfeffer explained that the Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACT) at the CBOC will be increasing from three to four PACTs, as recruitment for an additional primary care physician for the CBOC will begin soon. Additionally, Dr. Head states that she has been seeing improvements at the Guam CBOC, as the VAPHICS continues to recognize the need to improve services for Guam’s Veterans—especially with over 600 soldiers who have returned from a deployment in Afghanistan earlier this year.
Senator Aguon concludes, “The ongoing efforts to address the revolving challenges at the Guam CBOC that our federal partners are engaging in is commendable, and I am committed to ensuring that we maintain this progress for Guam’s Veterans.”
VAPIHCS continues to offer back-up video telehealth services from its main facility to assist the CBOC in primary care.