Utilizing Evidence to Address the Health and Health Care Needs of Veterans.
This issue brief focuses on opportunities to address the health needs of our nation's heroes--service members and veterans who have served the United States in the armed forces. Since the North Carolina Medical Journal (NCMJ) last examined this issue in 2008, the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system has experienced growth in both the number of veterans served and the number of locations where services are provided. However, there has also been negative attention related to delays in care. Here we summarize the articles in this issue of the NCMJ that describe the resources available to veterans, the unique health needs of veterans, and successful examples of evidence-informed programs and policies that are being undertaken by the VA health care system to enhance care and address the concerns that have been raised about VA. Because veterans and service members receive care outside of the VA or Department of Defense health care systems and many of the programs described in this issue have promise for improving care in other health systems, as well, the topics addressed in this issue are of great importance for the entire health care community in the United States.
Williams, JW; Jackson, GL
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