First on Fox… the Tomah VA is celebrating what they say are alternative health practices and services for veterans. Fox 25/48’s Zach Prelutsky tells us how the VA is now approaching the way they help veterans with their pain and wellness.
When former Marine Jason Simcaksoski died of a drug overdose back in 2014, an investigation showed that the staff at the Tomah VA medical center were at fault.
More than 3 years later, Jason’s parents, VA leadership, and members of Congress came together to highlight what the medical center is now doing. The Tomah VA has since implemented different programs for alternative treatment without meds or surgeries
“We will provide excellence in mental health care along the entire continuum. We will provide excellence in pain management, traditional, and non-traditional for our veterans. We will continue holistic and a traditional primary care and we will service those veterans who live and reside with us in our CLC.”
A new program rolling out across some VA centers is a new Whole Health System. The Tomah VA was one of 18 medical centers to be chosen for the flagship of the Whole Health System.
The Whole Health System is designed to provide veterans with programs and tools to help them with their pain, depression, or other ailments.
“We want to help veterans live normal and fulfilling life’s, free from overmedication. Our family wants to make sure that other families don’t have to go through what Jason went through.”
Those involved with the VA are confident that a corner has been turned.
“This is a new VA folks. I’m absolutely convinced of that. It has nothing to do with me. It has everything to do with the leadership, the Vicky Brahms, the Renee Oshinski’s, having people like the Simcaksoski’s come back and have true rich dialogue with making change.”
And there is hope that this new way of treatment could set the standard across the country.
“Many of us are encouraged with the progress that’s made, knowing that it’s not there yet, but if they do this the right way this could be a model. Not only for the entire VA healthcare system but for the entire healthcare system when it comes to proper pain management.”
In Tomah, Zach Prelutsky, Fox 25/48 First News at Nine.