December 2013


Meeting: January 28, 2014 Time: 10:30am – Noon Room: 728

Minutes for November meeting and AGENDA

October meeting minutes accepted.

Julie Burns (Chief, Food Production) presented improvements in meal service; Council feedback was given on sample meal trays, taste, presentation, dishes and flatware. Although this presentation used most of the meeting time, it was a very important event that relates to Veteran (patient) issues discovered during the Planetree evaluation visit associated with the Silver Award certification and healthcare improvements for Veterans who stay in the Medical Center after procedures/treatments. Council gave significant input for these improvements. Council members used many surveys to evaluate a wide-range of food and serving ware. This event was also enjoyable.

Kim Busenberg (Smoke-Free Task Force) gave us information about the smoke-free policy at the VAAA Medical Center and the Quit Smoking Program (both are Federal Law requirements). This is a health issue but there is also a safety issue: There have been some problems with In-Patients going outside to the smoke house; this is not permitted because it can be dangerous. Some people are smoking in places that it is not permitted. Police give warnings. Although police do not want to give $75 tickets, they will if they need to. E – cigarettes are not recommended because they keep the hand-to-mouth habit; the Quit Smoking Program offers better alternatives. Kim gave us printed material and contact information about this program.

Linda H. announced that VAAAHS has received the Planetree Silver Award. There will be a special Veteran-Centered Care TOWNHALL Meeting on January 16th to celebrate this achievement. Paul and Terry will be part of this award ceremony. Other Veterans were invited to participate and/or attend.

Erik C. brought a Veteran (John, WWII Vet) to our emergency center and although John was in serious condition, he received excellent care and is successfully recovering. Erik presented our “Council Comment” paper (do not use the word CURE for PTSD treatment) during the Mental Health Leadership meeting. He gave them copies and read the message. There were immediate reactions from them; some do not think it should be used and some thought it has value for certain Veterans. Mental Health Leadership was respectful and appreciated our input. This was a useful interaction that will influence their discussions and treatment in the Mental Health area. Erik thought this event went well and we got a good response. Rick D. complimented Erik on the professional way he handled this event.

Felicia W. announced that she will start a Vet-to-Vet Group in Flint on January 15th and although this is a V2V for women, she will expand her efforts to help all Veterans in that area.



Dr. Greenstone (Chief, Ambulatory Care) will give us a presentation about improvements and other activities in our Healthcare System. Input from our Council is very important.

  1. Linda H. update.
  2. Ryan – Received a Grant from the Michigan Department of Community Health to help the Vet-to-Vet program.
  3. Paul – The Whalers Event
  4. Erik C. – Mental Health Leadership Meeting.
  5. Veterans Court and Mentor Program.
  6. Future Guest Speakers???
  7. Other Thoughts, Topics, Comments, Suggestions.

Please mark your calendar – Our next Council meeting will be February 25, 2014, Tuesday, 10:30 – Noon in Room 728.



Terry Keck, Gary Bourdeau, Don Behm, Ed Roberts, Joe Riedy, Ryan Christman, Paul Jingozian, Maurice Warren, Bob Field, Lori Young, Erik Cuolahan, Felicia West, Mark Lyubkin, Frank Kimberlin, Ron Lamirand, Dennis Moore, Greg Poulos, John Branstetter, Mark Lindke, Teresa Kamphorst, Linda Harrison, Billie Whittaker, Vicki Dawson, Derek Atkinson, C. Beau Nelson, Lloyd Suter, Bruce Schultz, Rose Williamson, Bob Board, Jon Luker, Rick Donley, Asuki ONeill, Alex Beach, Ray Pasquantonio, Kirk Lanam, Rudy Beegen