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VA Butler Healthcare

 

Creating Healthier Lifestyles For Veterans

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Nurse Karen Dunn and psychologist Lisa Diefenbach are part of VA Butler's new HPDP team.

Nurse Karen Dunn and psychologist Lisa Diefenbach are part of VA Butler's new HPDP team.

By Joshua Hudson
Saturday, December 25, 2010

VA Butler Healthcare has a new program to help Veterans live longer and healthier and Veterans may never even notice. The Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (HPDP) program supports clinical staff with tools that help motivate and educate our Veterans on how to live healthier lifestyles while better managing their own health. This new Veteran-Centered care engagement reduces unhealthy daily living which will lead to significant health benefits and decreases in diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

"We are transforming how we work with the Veteran in dealing with their care," said Karen Dunn, HPDP Program Manager. "We are thinking more about prevention and not just treating the health problems."

The HPDP program is part of a national VA Veteran-Centered Care initiative. The VA’s new focus is to partner and coordinate more with Veterans and how together we can do business better. This cultural transformation requires training for employees as well as Veterans.

"We are providing the skills for our health care professionals as they reorient Veterans in how to better manage their own health," said Dr. Lisa Diefenbach. The Indiana, Pa., native is a health psychologist who is developing the programs that will help VA staff support, encourage and change how Veterans participate in their own health. "It is more than just treating the problem; it is intervening with patients and offering strategies that foster change."

The changes facilitated by HPDP and health coaching to Veterans will result in healthier patients who will live longer and with a greater quality of life. Some of the programs are already in place, such as the Smoking Cessation classes, which meets every third Tuesday of the month at 2:45pm in room 412 of VA Butler’s main campus. Another program is our MOVE! weight management, which Veterans can participate in with a consult from their primary care provider.

VA Butler is dedicated to creating a fully engaged partnership between the Veteran and their family with their health care team. This partnership is to move past episodic care while developing a coordinated and continuous healing environment for improved health and a better health care experience.