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department of veterans affairs

Photo courtesy of South Texas Veterans Healthcare System

The South Texas Veterans Healthcare System is trying to avoid a broad shutdown as the COVID-19 pandemic waxes and wanes.

With the advent of the novel coronavirus in March, the South Texas VA — along with other VA facilities around the country — postponed many face-to-face appointments to prevent the virus from spreading.

Like most long-term care facilities, VA nursing homes haven't allowed in-person visitation since early March.

Photo courtesy of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation

The Department of Veterans Affairs has reversed course and agreed to remove three gravestones in veterans cemeteries that are engraved with swastikas and other Nazi references.

South Texas Veterans Health Care System

As the coronavirus outbreak gained steam in March, the South Texas Veterans Healthcare System limited in-person appointments, reserving them primarily for those with urgent medical needs. Virtual health visits became more commonplace, with patients and practitioners relying on various apps to connect. Many surgeries and procedures were postponed. 

Now, with the epidemic curve flattening in Bexar County, the South Texas VA is slowly resuming certain clinical services.


A woman talks to her healthcare provider on a tablet.
Department of Veterans Affairs

The Veterans Health Administration is turning to virtual appointments to care for some patients who would otherwise be at risk for coronavirus. But the agency’s telehealth infrastructure has struggled to keep pace with the increasing traffic, causing providers and patients to get kicked off. 


Photo courtesy VA North Texas Health System

Just a few weeks after taking possession of a closed hospital in Garland, the Veteran Affairs North Texas Health Care System reopened the facility Monday as a COVID-19 relief center.

The VA is now screening patients for coronavirus at San Antonio’s Audie Murphy Memorial VA Hospital.
Carson Frame | Texas Public Radio

The Department of Veterans Affairs is now screening patients for coronavirus in an attempt to protect the already vulnerable veteran population. But some employees and members of Congress question whether the nation's largest healthcare system will be able to come up with a unified response to the pandemic.

South Texas Veterans Health Care System

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still considers COVID-19 to be a low threat to the general American public, the South Texas Veterans Health Care System has begun screening everyone -- patients, employees and contractors -- who enter three of its units.

The VA Aid and Attendance benefit can help some vets and spouses pay for nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and home health care. But the application process is often long and complicated.

STEPHANIE COLOMBINI / AMERICAN HOMEFRONT

Researchers at the Tampa veterans' hospital are training computers to diagnose cancer. It's one example of how the Department of Veterans Affairs is expanding artificial intelligence development.


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