65-year-old Navy Veteran Ed Luczak worked in photographic intelligence in the U.S. Navy during Vietnam. He flew missions as a photo navigator and processed film to make prints for photo analysis. He’s retired from the Public Health Department as a Public Health Administrator, and he’s a big supporter of VA’s direct access to his health care team.
VA Butler Healthcare uses a team approach to health care called PACT, or Patient Aligned Care Teams. Ed’s PACT team consists of VA Health Technician Debbie Bartman, VA Nurse Danielle Weisenstein, and VA Physician Dr. Timothy Burke. Our Patient Aligned Care Teams partner with Veterans every day, delivering whole-person care and life-long wellness through:
“One of the most important things for me is the direct access. I have direct access to my VA doctor who communicates well back and forth,” said Ed. “I’ve never had that with civilian doctors – it was always either make an appointment to talk about it or go to the Emergency Room (ER). There was no middle ground –and in health care, there is a lot of middle ground that does not require sitting down for a face-to-face appointment or going to the ER.”
The PACT approach provides many ways for Veterans to access health care. In addition to personal visits with the Veteran’s primary care provider and other health care professionals who are members of the PACT, there are other ways to get information and care. These include group clinics and telephone calls, as well as using the computer to access My HealtheVet and other VA websites. Veterans also use My HealtheVet for Secure Messaging to members of their PACT.
My HealtheVet (www.myhealth.va.gov) is a comprehensive website where Veterans can find a wealth of VA health care information and services. On the site, they can access trusted, secure, and current health education information and resources, in addition to Veteran benefits details. Veterans who are registered My HealtheVet users can create and maintain their own web-based personal health record, which they can choose to view, print, or download through the new VA Blue Button to share with their health care PACT professionals or trusted caregivers.
Secure Messaging, a feature of My HealtheVet, is a web-based message system that allows participating VA patients and VA health care teams to communicate non-urgent health-related information in a safe computer environment. Secure Messaging is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through the My HealtheVet website.
“What I like most about My HealtheVet is the prescription refill and all the information about various health topics. I always read about everything,” said Ed. “My HealtheVet’s Secure Messaging allows me to communicate without even going the phone call route – which is even better! And, when you send a Secure Message, you can go back into your sent folder and see if it’s been read by your PACT team.”
My HealtheVet is an important component of PACT and is another way VA is enhancing the delivery of health care services to Veterans, as well as promoting health and wellness, and engaging Veterans to be more active participants in their overall health care.
“Being able to have direct contact with the VA without having to go to the extremes of a face-to-face appointment or ER visit is one of the greatest things I think,” said Ed. “With the VA, I can get access and get an answer when I need it without having to go through other channels.”
To learn more about My HealtheVet or Secure Messaging call 724.285.2595.