January 2014


Meeting: February 25, 2014 Time: 10:30am – Noon Room: 728

Minutes for January meeting and AGENDA

November meeting minutes accepted.

Teresa K. requested that handles be put on the doors of the handicapped bathroom stalls so it will be easier to lock for someone in a scooter or wheelchair; this will be presented to the Veterans (Patient) Satisfaction Committee; Council will get an update during our next meeting.

Erik C. reported on a new project: A VA social worker recommended him to a primary care doctor (UM resident) who wanted to produce a short video with a Veteran presenting the application of the “Mindfulness” program used in our V2V peer support groups. Erik and the doctor produced this tutorial video last Monday. The plan is to have 10-12 Veterans go to the website video and use it to help them continue improving after their professional therapy sessions. A study will be conducted to see how well this approach works to help Veterans during their Recovery Process. It may be useful for Ryan C. and the V2V website project.

Dr. Greenstone (Associate Chief-of-Staff, Ambulatory Care) asked for Council Member input regarding current activities and future plans that address the need for more space and services because of the increasing numbers of Veterans seeking care at VAAAHS. There were 45,000 Vets receiving care when he arrived 7½ years ago and that has increased to 60,000; the first quarter of 2014 is showing an additional 14% increase. The process has started to expand the Jackson and Flint Clinics to provide more primary care, mental health care and other healthcare services. Preliminary plans for two new buildings for the Ann Arbor campus have begun. The Eye Clinic and other clinics will be expanded after a three-story building is attached on the courtyard/loading dock side of the existing building (this starts in October). Another multi-story building will be built to replace the Station 17 trailer and will be near the new Emergency Department; pharmacy and other services will be expanded in this building. During the past 3½ years VAAAHS has grown the Primary Care services (Medical Home Model, P.A.C.T) and more space is needed; therefore, Specialty clinics will be temporarily moved to an Annex Building (120,000 sq. ft.) within 5 miles of the AA campus during a 3½ – 4 year time period. They will return to campus after an eight-story building is built beside the auditorium near Fuller Road; approx. 10 year time period. Expanded parking space will be included in the projects. Dr. Greenstone anticipates in the next 5 years an additional 15 – 20,000 Veterans will receive care at VAAAHS. Important considerations: How often does primary care make referrals to specialty clinics on the same day? – and – No unnecessary “large-scale” duplication at the Annex. Some Council Member suggestions for the Annex included pharmacy, dining, parking, reliable/frequent shuttles with a drop off area that has overhead protection from rain or snow, lab/blood work, xray, mental health, prosthetics, Volunteers and Ann Arbor bus service. Teresa K. said that improved communication is needed between her specialty clinics and her primary care clinic. Dr. Greenstone agreed and said a secure connective email and other communication systems are part of the future improvements to make it easy and simple for Vets to receive healthcare. Kirk L. suggested implementing Care Managers (Communication Coordinators between clinics) ASAP. Dr. Greenstone said this has already been implemented (P.A.C.T.) and standardized improvement details are being worked on; cultural change is difficult. Linda H. suggests having Pharmacy give a presentation to the Council; we agreed and she will contact them.

Council Members did not have any extreme, adverse reaction to the Annex plan; we understand the need and as long as Veterans receive care without additional complications or confusion, the Annex is a good solution for additional space. We gave a favorable response.

As with all information we receive during our Council meetings, please share this with other Veterans and people who care for/about us. If they, or you, have any additional suggestions for these future improvements, please present them during our Council meetings and we will give them to the planning committee(s).


  1. Preliminary activities: Sign-in Sheet, Minutes acceptance, New Members.
  2. Linda H. update.
  3. Veteran (Patient) Satisfaction Committee.
  4. Paul – “Salute to Veterans” Week …and …
  5. Ryan C. – V2V project.
  6. Erik C. – “Mindfulness” video project and Mental Health Leadership Meeting.
  7. Veterans Court and Mentor Program.
  8. Vet-to-Vet
  9. Other Thoughts, Topics, Comments, Suggestions.

Dr. Singh (Associate Director) and Stacey Breedveld (Associate Director Patient Care Services) will be Guest Speakers at our next meeting. Please let me (Terry) know if you have suggestions for future Guest Speakers.

Please mark your calendar – Our next Council meeting will be March 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, Jim Keith, 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, Larry Blanchard, Bob Board, Jon Luker, Rick Donley, Asuki ONeill, Alex Beach, Ray Pasquantonio, Kirk Lanam, Rudy Beegen