Providing coordinated care to veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan wars with complex psychological and social issues in a Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center: Formation of seamless transition committee

Michael J. Mallen, Marianne M. Schumacher, Jennie Leskela, Paul Thuras, Mark Frenzel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Veterans returning from combat and reintegrating to civilian life after one or more deployments are at risk for a multitude of physical and mental health problems. The current article reviews the relevant literature related to the most common struggles of veterans adjusting to their return home and the transition from military to civilian culture. The reintegration process can be a challenging time for the veterans and those professionals who are attempting to serve them. A template for how one Midwestern Veterans Affairs Medical Center provides coordinated care to high-risk veterans returning home is presented. The Seamless Transition Committee (STC) is composed of leaders in mental health and other disciplines to provide expert consultation and coordination of care for high-risk, postdeployment veterans. A case vignette is presented to illustrate common issues and challenges faced by postdeployment veterans and how the STC functions together to design and implement treatment recommendations. Data is presented on the composition of 149 veterans served through the committee during the first 3 years including changes in their utilization of services at the medical center. Finally, outcome data from staff members utilizing the committee indicate the STC enhanced care and saved time during treatment planning and implementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)410-415
Number of pages6
JournalProfessional Psychology: Research and Practice
Volume45
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Care coordination
  • Military
  • Postdeployment
  • Treatment planning
  • Veterans

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