What characteristics come to mind when you think of a veteran? They are patriotic, heroic, and likely to suffer in some way for what they see during deployment. What comes to mind when you hear military culture? Soldiers are disciplined but show camaraderie with their fellow soldiers. And what resources do you need to support veterans? Department of Veterans Affairs.
These were the beginning of the latest TRUST Retreat in early February, where students in pharmacy, nursing, social work, public health, and medicine came together to ask and answer questions to learn about a veteran’s perspective in healthcare.
The Rural and Underserved Service Track (TRUST) is the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (SOPPS), Decker College of Nursing and Health Sciences, College of Community and Public Affairs’ Department of Social Work, SUNY Upstate Medical University, and the Community.
“Our TRUST program was conceived and led by Bennett Doughty, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice. The program provides medical students with important training on how to treat patients in the most vulnerable populations. “Students who participate in this program are prepared to team up with other healthcare providers to provide the best possible care for their patients.”
“I am very grateful for all the support I have received from my multidisciplinary colleagues who have made this track possible. We also thank the donors who gave us,” Doughty said. “Their generosity enabled us to expand the number of students we recruit, award educational scholarships to more than half of our students, and support all materials for service efforts.”
The program has grown to approximately 80 students who attend four retreats each grade for two years and participate in at least two community outreach activities each semester. Held on Sunday afternoons, the retreat will focus on accessing reproductive health care, providing care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, providing appropriate care for the LGBTQ+ population, providing services to refugees, and providing services to the elderly. Topics include population and health care, and working with people with substance use disorders. , and explore rural and urban health.
The veterans’ perspective regression was another typical one. We looked at the veterans population over time, talked about how health care providers work with the veterans population, had a panel of veterans talk about their medical experiences, and had a question and answer period after each presentation. rice field. The student also worked with her interdisciplinary group of six on a case study on how to assess the needs and provide appropriate care to her 71-year-old veteran with high blood pressure and diabetes.
Jessica Isaac, Clinical Assistant Professor Downstate Experiences Coordinator in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmacy, introduced attendees to healthcare best practices on the topic of veterans, followed by a panel of veterans.
Three veterans made up the panel, each with varying military experience, including multiple deployments and roles, such as special forces and combat medics.Each member of the trio is based in Chittenango, New York. We have partnered with the nonprofit Clear Path for Veterans, which provides programming and direct services to assist veterans as they return to non-military life.
All three of Clear Path’s peer mentors spoke about the key challenges facing veterans trying to navigate complex veteran administration systems. Care can be great, they said, but it can be confusing and overwhelming.
The VA is made up of three separate chapters, and “maybe they should speak a foreign language to each other,” they said.
“We advocate a lot for veterans to let go of their emotions and help veterans get through these issues,” they said.
What is the veterinarian’s message to students? “When dealing with veterans, be patient and understanding and don’t take them lightly. If they’re asking for help, it’s because they need it.”
The workshop also included a presentation by Ann Canastra, recovery coordinator for the Syracuse Department of Veterans Affairs. A licensed mental health counselor, she said her job is to help people live their best lives.
Canastra described both the components of recovery and recovery goals related to mental health and substance use disorders.
• Help veterinarians and VA systems understand that mental health is essential to overall health.
• Build a veterans and family led mental health system.
• Eliminate inequalities, prejudices or discrimination related to mental illness.
• Facilitate full access to recovery-oriented services at all VA locations and all veteran contacts.
• Ensure that good recovery-oriented care is provided and the VA system builds a body of knowledge about recovery.
• Collaborate and connect with the veteran community. The connection to meaning is essential to recovery.
She also talked about stigma and what she called the stigma roulette of mental and substance use disorders. “Providers and policy makers should reduce the stigma surrounding substance abuse, encourage providers and communities to recognize unintentional/implicit bias, and use appropriate language in conversations when discussing mental and substance disorders. We need to remove labels and reduce stigma by using people-first language,” she said.
She teaches her students to treat patients with science and evidence-based strategies, fight stigma and discrimination, stay hopeful, treat patients with dignity, work with fellow recovery professionals, and the language surrounding material use.
Next, students were divided into 10 cross-disciplinary groups of 6 to work on a case study of a 71-year-old veteran being seen at a primary care clinic in VA. Veteran he has type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, post-traumatic stress disorder, smoker, and other health issues. He lives alone, has no health insurance, eats poorly, walks around, rides a bike, and uses public transport to get around.
With the goal of synthesizing expertise across the fields of pharmacy, nursing, public health, social work, and medicine, students spoke through responses to the following questions and discussion points.
• What was your first impression of this case?
• What other questions do you have for this veteran?
• Identify veterans’ needs (including medical, social, etc.) and begin ranking interventions based on priority.
• Use a prioritized list to identify the occupations best suited to address each need identified by the group.
• What existing resources and/or strengths can help meet the needs of seasoned presentations?
• What interventions could each expert use to leverage these strengths and address the different needs identified and ranked by the group?
After the debriefing, the retreat concluded with a networking dinner.
The next retreat will be held in late April and will provide appropriate care for LGBTQ+ people.