Cleveland Checkup

Reprinted from PN November 2018

Paralyzed Veterans of America’s VA medical facility site visit team works to help veterans with spinal-cord injury and disease receive the best care possible.

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Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) Associate Director of Medical Services Angela Weir, RN, has one simple way of staying meticulously organized during a site visit — an array of color-coded pens. 

PVA makes routine site visits at 31 Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Spinal-Cord Injury (SCI) units and long-term care centers each year to make sure quality standards are met. What the site visit team wants, according to Weir, is a full 360-degree view of the SCI center. 

Those pens — red, blue and black — along with active listening and open eyes help her keep track of the most important thing the site team is advocating for — veterans with spinal-cord injury and disease (SCI/D). Weir and the team do this across the country, but this time it was during a June visit to the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center in Cleveland.

“The VA has got these directives. And we’re not giving them laws, we’re just basically advocating that the centers are doing everything they can to adhere to the directives. So that’s a primary goal,” Weir says. “The second goal is to lay eyes on the facility because sometimes you get a bigger picture when you’re actually there and you meet with the people more than you can get through emails and phone calls. And the third is to confirm that by meeting with the veterans. And then, I guess a secondary goal of that is how can we provide a voice to help them get what they need and how can we also share successful practices between facilities?”


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