What Health Care Professionals Need to Know About Military Service Exposure Risks
Dear Nevada Healthcare Partner-
We know you are passionate about helping your patients live their best life possible. So are we!
The Nevada Department of Veteran Services’ (NDVS) mission is to connect veterans and their families to benefits and compensation for which they may be eligible related to their service in the U.S. Armed Forces.
While 280,000 Nevada veterans are enrolled in VA Benefits and Health programs, a significant number of veterans and spouses are not. It’s estimated that more than half of our veterans are not connected to the VA. They are receiving care through community-based providers like you and may not even be identified as a veteran. They may be missing out on compensation, support services and working with incomplete or incorrect information about their eligibility. You are caring for these heroes!
The health issues they are experiencing today may be connected to their military service. Diseases like diabetes, Parkinson’s and prostate cancer could be a Presumptive Condition, identified and approved by the VA for services and disability compensation. This means help to pay for care and prescription drugs while remaining under your care – they are not required to access the VA for their care.
You’ve been identified as a critical partner in our efforts to reach these deserving individuals with vital information. You could become a Veteran Healthcare Champion just by identifying your patients who have served in the U.S. Armed Services and referring them to the NDVS website at www.veterans.nv.gov where they’ll complete a questionnaire, learn more and connect with a Veteran Service Officer.
It’s that easy!
Ask your patient “Have you served in the U.S. Armed Forces?
If they have, simply refer them to the NDVS website, www.veterans.nv.gov
There’s information on our website for you too! There’s more on Presumptive Conditions, links to valuable resources, items to help inform your patients and staff along with updates about our efforts. You’ll want to check back regularly – we are just getting started!
We want to make this referral process as easy as possible and we want to recognize those work outside the scope of their regular clinical duties to serve our military heroes. We hope you’ll support our efforts and become a Veteran Healthcare Champion!
What is Exposure and Presumptive Conditions?
Health issues veterans are experiencing today may be connected to their military service. Diseases like diabetes, Parkinson’s and prostate cancer could be a Presumptive Condition, identified and approved by the VA for services and disability compensation. This means additional support and financial compensation to help pay for care and prescription drugs while remaining under your care – they are not required to access the VA for their care.
VA Benefits fact sheet
VA Military Exposure Website
Military Exposures & Your Health Newsletter
Environmental Health Registry Evaluation for Veterans
In some cases, the Department of Veterans Affairs recognizes that certain illnesses are, in fact, caused directly by or linked to military service.
Currently there are six health registries that exist for veterans who have had exposure to certain environmental hazards: Agent Orange, Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit, Depleted Uranium Follow-up, Gulf War, Ionizing Radiation and Toxic Embedded Fragments. Once registered, veterans will be alerted to potential health issues related to those exposures.
The VA’s health registry evaluation is a free, voluntary medical assessment for Veterans who may have been exposed to certain environmental hazards during military service. The evaluations alert Veterans to possible long-term health problems that may be related to exposure to specific environmental hazards during their military service.
The VA has established several health registries to track and monitor the health of specific groups of Veterans.
The registry data helps VA understand and respond to these health problems more effectively.
More information about each registry is available at:
On the Environmental Health Registry Evaluation page, veterans can check their eligibility to participate, review updated registry information and find contact information for the VA environmental health coordinator. These registries can also help the VA track and understand these health problems among veterans, but it’s important to note that participation does not confirm exposure to military-related environmental hazards for the purposes of disability compensation. Veterans must still undergo the VA claims process in order to verify such exposures according to military service records.
Exposure Ed App
The VA developed a mobile application “Exposure Ed,” for healthcare professionals. It’s designed to help you learn about exposures and talk with patients about exposure-related concerns. It provides you with comprehensive and targeted information about the specific health care needs of Veterans. It is free and available for both iOS and Android devices from your app store. A user manual is also available for download at https://mobile.va.gov/app/exposure-ed#AppTrainingMaterials
COVID Coach App
The VA recently launched the COVID Coach app, a new mobile app designed to help both Veterans and civilians cope with feelings of stress and anxiety they may be experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The app includes practical tools, information and resources that can all be used from the safety of one’s home to track well-being, mood swings and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms.
A personal goal setting tracker can help users work toward achieving small victories. The mindfulness and sleep tools can be helpful for improving mental health and well-being. The indoor activities tool and staying healthy recommendations have been specifically tailored to the current COVID-19 situation. Direct links to resources are available within the app for those who may need additional professional support. The COVID Coach can be used independently or while engaged in mental health treatment but is not intended to replace needed professional care.
Download the app on iOS and Android devices or from the VA’s Mobile App Store.
Check back regularly for more information, updates and additional resources.