• Oct 23, 2020
  • 2:33 PM

Health and Wellness


The federal VA operates a robust and comprehensive health care system for veterans, and private organizations are stepping up every day to take care of Nevada's veteran population. Check out these health resources.

Quick Links – VA Info and Locations

Caregivers Guide – Made Simple and Easy

Visit the NDVS Caregivers Guide with national and local resources for caregivers.

Disabled Veteran Resources

Benefit Category: Federal

Military Service Organizations

The Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) is the official U.S. Army program that assists and advocates for severely wounded, ill or injured Soldiers, Veterans, and their Families, wherever they are located, regardless of military status.

The United States Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment provides and enables assistance to wounded, ill and injured Marines, sailors attached to or in support of Marine units, and their family members in order to assist them as they return to duty or transition to civilian life.

Navy Wounded Warrior – Safe Harbor is the Navy’s organization for coordinating the non-medical care of seriously wounded, ill and injured Sailors and Coast Guardsmen, and providing resources and support to their families.

The Air Force Wounded Warrior Program works hand-in-hand with the Air Force Survivor Assistance Program and Airman & Family Readiness Centers to ensure Airmen receive professional support and care from the point of injury, through separation or retirement, for life.

The Military One Source Wounded Warrior Program can help you understand benefits, research independent living options and identify counseling and advocacy resources whether you are the Wounded Warrior of someone you love.

The U.S. Army Warrior Care and Transition (WCT) website.

Other Organizations

Dreams for Veterans serves our nation’s heroes by giving back to terminally ill veterans and their families through the fulfillment of a final wish. Final wishes range from basic need items (like a working appliance or mobility scooter) to bedside reunions, final vacations with family, “meet and greets” with personal heroes or reconnecting with aspects of former military service. A dream not only serves the recipient, but also brings comfort and peace to caregivers, loved ones, hospice professionals, veterans affairs and service officers, and all those they serve in communities across the nation.

Wounded Warrior Project's mission is to to honor and empower Wounded Warriors and to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation's history. Their purpose is to raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured service members aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members.

Military Warriors Support Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity, founded by Lt. General, Leroy Sisco, USA (Retired), in 2007. Their Mission is to provide support for our nation’s combat wounded heroes and Gold Star Families as they transition out of the military and into their new civilian life. This is a very fragile time for these heroes, and their families, and it is their goal to provide programs that facilitate a smooth and successful transition. Their programs include home donation, academic and employment assistance, as well as recreational activities.

Family Caregiver Alliance is a public voice for caregivers, illuminating the daily challenges they face, offering them the assistance they so desperately need and deserve, and championing their cause through education, services, research and advocacy. Find out more about Caregiving and Veterans.

The mission of Hope For The Warriors® is to enhance the quality of life for post-9/11 service members, their families, and families of the fallen who have sustained physical and psychological wounds in the line of duty. Hope For The Warriors® is dedicated to restoring a sense of self, restoring the family unit, and restoring hope for our service members and our military families. They have several programs to assist families financially and provide moral support.

The Wounded Veteran Family Care Program is for those families who provide a substantial amount of care for a catastrophically wounded, injured, or ill veteran at home.

Veteran Caregiver is a safe place to air questions and frustrations on and offline, but they also provide individualized assistance when you've hit the wall. As a veteran or a caregiver of a veteran, your life may be significantly altered by injury, illness, or aging. If you're feeling isolated or alone, want/need people around you who “get it", and you'd benefit from networking with peers and professionals, community health and recovery resources, you've come to the only site of its kind. Veteran Caregiver is here to fill the need for acknowledgement, mentoring as only peers can do, and to provide accessible support from others who share or can address your challenges.

The mission of the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes is to help severely-wounded veterans and families of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom recover from their injuries and illnesses, and to inspire other organizations and the general public to participate in this effort.

NDVS Caregiver Guide with additional caregiver resources.

Exposure Risk Questionnaire

Your service in the U.S. military may impact your health.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs presumes certain disabilities, diseases and conditions are directly related to the unique set of circumstances required by military service.

Presumed conditions also include a range of exposures to chemical, physical, and environmental hazards during military service.

Do you know your exposure risk? Take our questionnaire. Once you are finished, you may ask to speak with a Veterans Service Officer to inquire about earned benefits. The service is free. Exposure Risk Information and Resources are also available.

You may also want to share this information with your health care provider.

The information you share in this questionnaire is confidential and will not be shared with anyone, unless you share it.  The purpose of this questionnaire is to raise awareness and educate veterans about their health as well as earned benefits from presumed conditions.

Take the  Exposure Risk Questionnaire.

DHA - Health Insurance, TRICARE

Benefit Category: Federal

TRICARE

Managed by the Defense Health Agency (DHA) under the policy guidance and direction of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) (ASD[HA]). The DHA manages the TRICARE budget, executes TRICARE policies and oversees the entire TRICARE health program.

Military retirees are eligible for TRICARE For Life. TRICARE For Life offers secondary coverage to Medicare for all beneficiaries who have both Medicare Parts A and B.

Using TRICARE For Life at Veterans Affairs Facilities

Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities, even if they are in the TRICARE network, are not Medicare-authorized providers.

  • By law, Medicare cannot pay for care at a government facility. When you use TRICARE For Life to receive care for a non-service-connected condition from a VA facility, even when the VA facility is in the TRICARE network, the VA cannot bill Medicare.
  • By law, when you seek care from a non-Medicare provider, such as the VA, TRICARE can pay only up to 20 percent of the TRICARE allowable charge.

TRICARE and the VA recommend that you get care for your service-connected disability at a VA facility. For all of your other care, you should consider all of your options, including using a Medicare-certified provider. When using Medicare providers, you typically have no out-of-pocket costs for services covered by both Medicare and TRICARE. If you use your TRICARE For Life benefit at a VA facility and have no other VA benefit to cover those costs, you will have to pay the remaining balance after TRICARE pays its 20% of the TRICARE-allowable charge.

You may wish to talk to your VA facility about your VA options, including how VA claims are processed if you are entitled to Medicare or have other health insurance.

Retired Reserve Members and Families

Retired Reserve members and their families may qualify for different options based on the age of the sponsor.

At any time, you can enroll in the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program. It's separate from TRICARE's health plans.

Health Plan Options

Under Age 60

Upon retirement and when you are under age 60, you and your family may qualify to purchase TRICARE Retired Reserve.

If you don't purchase TRICARE Retired Reserve, you don't qualify for any other TRICARE health plan options until you turn age 60 and begin receiving retirement pay.

If you purchase TRICARE Retired Reserve and you have adult children who “age out" at 21 (or 23 if attending college), they may qualify to purchase TRICARE Young Adult

Age 60 and Older

When you turn 60 and begin receiving retired pay, you and your family become eligible for the same TRICARE health benefits as all other retired service members. Your health plan options are different based on where you live:

In the United States, you can use:

Outside of the United States, you can use:

Additionally, adult children who “age out" at 21 (or 23 if attending college) may qualify to purchase TRICARE Young Adult.

Please review this fact sheet and visit the website for more information.

Sign up for TRICARE e-mail updates at www.tricare.mil/subscriptions.

Connect with TRICARE on Facebook and Twitter at www.facebook.com/tricare and www.twitter.com/tricare

Listen to TRICARE’s weekly podcast for a recap of this week’s TRICARE news. Or subscribe to get Podcasts via email.

Related Resources

TRICARE

VA Dental Insurance Program (VADIP)

Mental Health

Benefit Category: Federal

Visit the VA Mental Health website for information and resources.

If you are in crisis, please call 911, go to your nearest Emergency Room, or call the Veterans Crisis Line available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255 (Spanish/Español 1-888-628-9454). Veterans press “1” after you call.  You can also chat live online with a crisis counselor 24/7 by visiting the Veterans Crisis Line website.

For claims and benefits assistance, contact NDVS Veteran Services Officers.

Make the Connection is a public awareness campaign by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that provides personal testimonials and resources to help Veterans discover ways to improve their lives. Many of our Nation’s Veterans—from those who served in World War II to those involved in current conflicts—return not only with physical wounds but also mental health issues they may not recognize.

The Make the Connection campaign encourages Veterans and their families to “make the connection"— with information and resources, with the strength and resilience of Veterans like themselves, with other people, and with available sources of support including mental health treatments.

Central to this campaign is MakeTheConnection.net, a one-stop resource where Veterans and their families and friends can privately explore information about physical and mental health symptoms, challenging life events, and mental health conditions. On this site, Veterans and their families and friends can learn about available resources and support.

Powerful personal stories and testimonials are at the heart of Make the Connection, illustrating how Veterans face and overcome mental health issues and challenges. These stories and testimonials come from Veterans of all service eras, genders, and backgrounds and each of them provides a resounding and compelling example of the positive outcomes for treatment, recovery, and the many paths to more fulfilling lives.

Through Veterans’ own voices, Veterans have the chance to hear from trusted and credible sources—other Veterans like themselves. MakeTheConnection.net helps Veterans recognize that there are people out there like them who are going through similar experiences, overcoming challenges, reaching positive outcomes for treatment and recovery, and finding paths to fulfilling lives.

Moving Forward:  Overcoming Life's Challenges: Are you struggling to adjust to civilian life? Feeling overwhelmed or stressed about recent obstacles in your life? Moving Forward is a free, on-line educational and life coaching program that teaches Problem Solving skills to help you to better handle life’s challenges. It is designed to be especially helpful for Veterans, Military Service Members and their families. However, Moving Forward teaches skills that can be useful to anyone with stressful problems. Are you ready to Move Forward?

Click on these topics for further information:

Other available resources

DCoE Outreach Center*: The Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) runs a resource center that provides information and resources about psychological health (PH), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and traumatic brain injury (TBI). The center can be contacted 24/7 by phone at 866-966-1020, by e-mail at resources@dcoeoutreach.org, or you can also go to DCoE Outreach Center Live Chat.

Military OneSource: Military OneSource is a free service provided by the Department of Defense to Service Members and their families to help with a broad range of concerns.  It offers two types of short-term, non-medical counseling services to all active-duty, Reserve, and National Guard members and their families: face-to-face counseling and telephonic consultations.  You can access counseling services by contacting a Military OneSource consultant to determine which type would be best for you and your situation.  Call and talk anytime, 24/7 at 1-800-342-9647.

National Resource Directory (NRD)*: The NRD is a website for connecting wounded warriors, Service Members, Veterans, and their families with those who support them. It provides access to services and resources at the national, state and local levels to support recovery, rehabilitation and community reintegration. Visitors can find information on a variety of topics including benefits & compensation, education & training, employment, family & caregiver support, health, homeless assistance, housing, transportation & travel, and other services & resources. The NRD is a partnership among the Departments of Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs.

Coaching Into Care:  Is a national telephone-based support service for family members and others who want to help reluctant Veterans access their VA health care benefits, particularly for mental health issues.  Coaching Into Care is another “door” to VA care. They provide support and problem solving assistance for family members and others concerned about a Veteran, coaching with family members about how to talk to Veterans about seeking VA care, referrals for care for Veterans and family members, and information about available programs or enrolling in VA Care.

Troop and Family:  Professional counselors are available 24 hours, year-round. Representatives will assist in establishing 6 free sessions with a counselor of your choice in your community.  Call 1-888-755-9355 to obtain services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

RCS Combat Call Center:  877-927-8387 (877-WAR VETS) An around the clock confidential call center where combat Veterans and their families can call to talk about their military experience or any other issue they are facing in their readjustment to civilian life. The staff is comprised of combat Veterans from several eras as well as families members of combat Veterans.

NV Human Services:  Provides leadership for the planning, development, and oversight of a system of care for children, adults, and families with severe emotional disorders, mental illness, and/or substance abuse issues.  Visit the Division of Health & Human Services website for more information.

Taking care of your mental health is as important as taking care of your physical health. Mental health problems, when untreated, can lead to physical health problems.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): An agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.

Congress established the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in 1992 to make substance use and mental disorder information, services, and research more accessible. SAMHSA is a public agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Prevention, treatment, and recovery support services for behavioral health are important parts of the health service systems for the community. The services work to improve our health and minimize costs to individuals, families, businesses, and governments. However, people suffering from either substance use and mental disorders, or both, because of their illness are often excluded from the current health care system and instead have to rely on “public safety net" programs. Last year alone, close to 20 million people in need of substance abuse treatment did not receive it. Further, an estimated 11.8 million people reported an unmet need for mental health care. The gap in service to this population unnecessarily jeopardizes the health and wellness of people and causes a ripple effect in costs to American communities.

Related Resource

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Diagnosable Illnesses Secondary to TBI (PDF) 

Mesothelioma

The website, Mesothelioma.com, is dedicated to providing the latest medical information on mesothelioma, spreading awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure and providing victims with free resources. Visit their veteran-specific page, https://www.mesothelioma.com/veterans/, for additional information.

Nevada - Adopt a Vet Dental Program

Benefit Category: Nevada

Adopt a Vet Dental has moved. See contact information and address below.

Locally, thousands of low-income veterans suffer every day from extreme oral decay. They endure years of severe pain from abscesses, multiple deteriorated teeth and more.

Why 95% of our veterans can’t use the VA Dental Clinic

Around 56,000 veterans are enrolled in the Reno VA Hospital. But only an estimated 5% of them qualify for dental care. Because to qualify for the VA Dental Clinic, veterans must be:

  • Disabled (100% service connected)
  • Injured in the jaw or mouth while in service
  • Been a prisoner of war

This means a shocking 95% of our veterans can’t receive services through their VA Dental Clinic. As a low-income veteran, AAVD becomes their only hope.

What happens if they don’t get help?

Their need is critical. As their oral decay remains untreated, many veterans endure:

  • Failing overall health as the growing bacteria and inflammation infect their bodies
  • Malnutrition from their inability to chew food
  • Depression from the chronic pain or low self-esteem
  • Worsening of symptoms from current chronic health issues
  • Remaining unemployed because of their appearance and/or constant pain

Many of these veterans do not have a family or support system. So they rely on their community – people like you – for help.

What we do

Adopt a Vet Dental Program (AAVD) identifies and qualifies each case, then seeks appropriate dental care for the qualified veteran. All dental services are provided pro bono to qualifying veterans. This is only possible because of the extensive services donated by volunteer dentists. And the labs who help subsidize or completely cover the lab expenses associated with each veteran’s treatment.

Who qualifies for AAVD assistance

To participate in the AAVD program, you must

  • Be at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Level Guidelines
  • Enrolled with the VA
  • Under the care of a primary care physician in the VA
  • Following healthcare requirements from your physician
  • A full-time Nevada resident
  • Clean and sober for 1 year
  • Served in the military for a minimum of 1 year
  • Provide proof of income and assets, which may include:
    • All forms of social security
    • Available bank account or investment account statements to include all forms of income and assets
    • Most recent tax return

Veterans are asked for a minimal commitment investment

To get started, you may contact Adopt a Vet Dental, below:

Jim Snyder, Veteran Advocate
Jim.Snyder@aavdp.com
775.470.8707 Ext. 1

Charlotte Worthley, Community Dental Manager
Charlotte.Worthley@aavdp.com
775.470.8707 Ext. 2

Heather Borkowski, Dental Clinic Manager
Heather.Borkowski@aavdp.com
775.470.8707 Ext. 3

Penny Babe, Project Assistant & Women's Outreach
Penny.Babe@aavdp.com
775.409.8707 Ext. 4

Linda Haigh, Founder and Director
Linda.Haigh@aavdp.com
775.470.8707 Ext. 5; Direct 775.470.8704

Fax: 775-470-8709

1301 Cordone Ave. Suite 100. Reno, NV 89502

Hours: Mon-Thurs, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. by appointment only.

Nevada - General Health Care

Benefit Category: Nevada

Below is a listing of Healthcare providers and facilities available to Nevada veterans. Each will be separated alphabetically by city the provider or facility services.

Elko

Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital

Local hospital where Veterans can receive ED and IP / OP services locally rather than traveling outside of Elko county to receive care: 2001 Errecart Blvd Elko, NV 89801 (Google Maps)

Nevada - State Veterans Homes

The Nevada Department of Veterans Services (NDVS) operates the Southern Nevada State Veterans Home in Boulder City,  and the Northern Nevada State Veterans Home in Sparks, which opened in 2019.

Nevada - Veterans Service Officers

How We Can Help

NDVS offers VA accredited Veterans Service Officers (VSOs) for Nevada’s veteran community. VSOs connect veterans to benefits, and can help write and submit benefits claims to the Veterans Administration (VA). Once the claim is filed, they will help you track your claim through the system. VSOs can also assist with filing appeals for denied claims. Submit an inquiry online to the Veterans Advocacy and Support Team using the Ask a VSO online form. Find a VSO office and contact information.

Sierra Nevada - Medical Equipment and Supplies, CARE Chest

CARE Chest of Sierra Nevada – Reno

Who Do We Help?

CARE Chest provides medical equipment and resources for Nevadans. Our goal is to fill the gap between what our clients need and what they can afford, regardless of insurance.

CARE Chest is a Northern Nevada nonprofit agency serving individuals in need by providing medical resources, free of charge. Our programs include

  • Medical Equipment and Supplies
  • Prescription Assistance
  • Diabetic Supplies
  • Medical Nutrition
  • Independent Living and CARE Loan
  • Wellness Education

If you need help with any of these, please call (775) 829-2273 or visit the Get Help Page. For more than 25 years, CARE Chest has been re-using durable medical equipment, putting our community's resources into action. We have provided over 127,000 individual services in Northern Nevada and been a reliable resource for individuals who find themselves facing medical poverty. We are community-driven organization. Over 85% of our funding is private, and 100% of donations to our agency stay in Nevada.  To learn more visit CARE Chest programs page, or find out how you can help.

Suicide Prevention

You Matter! If you are in crisis, please call 1-800-273-8255 and PRESS 1!

Visit the NDVS Suicide Prevention page.

Survivor Resources

Read the NDVS Survivor Guide with federal and state resources.

VA - Dental (Federal)

Benefit Category: Federal

VA Dental Benefits for Veterans

  • Must have a service connected Dental Condition or,
  • Receiving Vocational Rehabilitation Services (Restrictions Apply) or,
  • Be 100% or 100% Due to Individual Unemployability Permanent and Total

More information about VA Benefits for Veterans.

VA Dental Insurance Program (VADIP)

The Veterans Health Administration has negotiated an agreement with MetLife and Delta Dental to provide dental insurance, at a discounted rate, to Veterans and CHAMPVA beneficiaries. Participation is voluntary, and purchasing a dental plan does not affect Veteran’s eligibility for VA dental services and treatment. See below resources for more information.

Related Resources

VA - General Health Care (Federal)

Benefit Category: Federal

Apply For Your VA Health Benefits or Update Your Information

The fastest and easiest way to apply or update your information is online! First time enrolling for benefits or already enrolled? Submit or update your personal, insurance, and financial information here!

Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act

On August 7, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-146) (“Choice Act"). Technical revisions to the Choice Act were made on September 26, 2014, when the President signed into law the Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-175).

VA's goal continues to be to provide timely, high-quality healthcare for Veterans. Veterans and VA employees nationwide understand the need for reform, and VA is committed to putting these reforms into place.

On November 5th, 2014, VA announced the initial role out of the choice program, a provision of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act (VACAA). Below are fact sheets on both the Choice, and VACAA in general, as well as an open-letter from Secretary McDonald.

Choice Program Fact Sheet | VACAA Progress Fact Sheet | Open Letter from Secretary McDonald

Returning OIF/OEF/OND Servicemembers

Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) combat Veterans can receive cost free medical care for any condition related to their service in the Iraq (OIF)/Afghanistan (OEF) theater for five years after the date of their discharge or release.

Visit the VA website for more information: http://www.oefoif.va.gov/index.asp

Affordable Care Act (ACA)

If you are enrolled in VA health care, you meet the health care law coverage standards. If you’re not enrolled, Veterans and their family members can apply for enrollment at any time.

Need more information on how ACA affects you?

Enrolled veterans: http://www.va.gov/health/aca/EnrolledVeterans.asp

Veterans not enrolled:  http://www.va.gov/health/aca/NonEnrolledVeterans.asp

Related Resources

Social Media Guide for Veterans with Mesothelioma: http://www.cooneyconway.com/social-media-guide-veterans-mesothelioma

Health Care Benefits Overview

Veterans Health Benefits Guide

Mesothelioma Information & Resources for Veterans http://www.mesotheliomagroup.com/veterans

VA Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry https://veteran.mobilehealth.va.gov/AHBurnPitRegistry/index.html#page/home

Veterans & Smoking: Ending the War on Veterans' Health https://quitday.org/support/veterans-quit-smoking/

VA - Hearing

Benefit Category: Federal

Hearing Aids Through the VA

  • Must be Doctoring at the VA, and have your VA  primary care provider refer you to audiology, based on if you are unable to actively participate in your health care due to your hearing, or
  • Have a hearing related VA Service connection, or
  • Have at least a 10% VA service connection and a referral from your VA primary healthcare provider.

Contact your Veterans Service Officer to apply

VA - Veterans Transportation Program (VTP)

Benefit Category: Federal

Veterans Transportation Program (VTP)

VA’s Veterans Transportation Program (VTP) offers Veterans many travel solutions to and from their VA health care facilities. This program offers these services at little or no costs to eligible Veterans through the following services:

  • Beneficiary Travel (BT)
  • Veterans Transportation Service (VTS)
  • Highly Rural Transportation Grants (HRTG)

Veterans Transportation Service

The Veterans Transportation Service (VTS) provides safe and reliable transportation to Veterans who require assistance traveling to and from VA health care facilities and authorized non-VA health care appointments. VTS also partners with service providers in local communities to serve Veterans’ transportation needs. Partners include:

  • Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs)
  • Local and national non-profit groups
  • Federal, state and local transportation service

Learn more about the VTS program. (make page that matches http://www.va.gov/HEALTHBENEFITS/vtp/veterans_transportation_service.asp)

Find a VTS location near you.

Beneficiary Travel

The Beneficiary Travel (BT) program reimburses eligible Veterans for costs incurred while traveling to and from VA health care facilities. The BT program may also provide pre-approved transportation solutions and arrange special mode transportation (SMT) at the request of VA. Veterans may be eligible for common carrier transportation (such as bus, taxi, airline or train) under certain conditions.

See if you qualify for Beneficiary Travel.

Highly Rural Transportation Grants

Highly Rural Transportation Grants (HRTG) provides grants to Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs) and State Veteran Service Agencies. The grantees provide transportation services to Veterans seeking VA and Non-VA approved care in highly rural areas. These grants are available in counties that have fewer than seven people per square mile.

Learn more about the HRTG program and VA's grants program.