About the Alexandria VA Health Care System - Alexandria VA Health Care System
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Alexandria VA Health Care System


About the Alexandria VA Health Care System

Core Values - "I CARE"

  • Integrity: Act with high moral principle. Adhere to the highest professional standards. Maintain the trust and confidence of all with whom I engage.
  • Commitment: Work diligently to serve Veterans and other beneficiaries. Be driven by an earnest belief in VA's mission. Fulfill my individual responsibilities and organizational responsibilities.
  • Advocacy: Be truly Veteran-centric by identifying, fully considering, and appropriately advancing the interests of Veterans and other beneficiaries.
  • Respect: Treat all those I serve and with whom I work with dignity and respect. Show respect to earn it.
  • Excellence: Strive for the highest quality and continuous improvement. Be thoughtful and decisive in leadership, accountable for my actions, willing to admit mistakes, and rigorous in correcting them.

New Initiatives: 

Service Recovery - Service Recovery is used at our facility to improve customer service and is a critical process in organizations that excel in service to their customers. It identifies a service failure, effectively resolves a service problem, classifies its root cause(s), and yields data that can be integrated with other sources of performance measurement to assess and improve the service system. It entails making a person "feel whole" by staff demonstrating politeness, concern and candor. It is taking a negative experience and turning in into a positive and memorable one. It is the "second chance", so it must be done very right the second time. Service Recovery always relates to service, not quality of clinical care. The primary person responsible for Service Recovery is the person who identifies the customer's dissatisfaction with services received. Each employee can be a part of Service Recovery, by taking ownership to improve our efforts to make the veteran's visit just as pleasant as possible.

Home-Based Primary Care - delivers health care using an interdisciplinary team to housebound or bed bound patients in their own homes in concert with family and community support systems. The care rendered includes medical, nursing, social work, nutrition and rehabilitative services and is intended to offer chronically ill veterans an alternative to institutional care.

DIGMA Clinic - Drop In Group Medical Appointments are used in conjunction with individual office visits and are designed to provide medical care in a group setting with other patients with similar medical problems. Care is provided by a multidisciplinary team is a more relaxed atmosphere in which both mind and body issues are addressed. Patient/family education and social support are integral parts of these clinics.

Social Detoxification Residential Treatment Program (SDRT) - is a program designed to assist the veteran in need of social detoxification residential treatment for substance abuse and addiction. The program was designed for veterans seeking treatment from distant locations. A therapeutic milieu is provided at the VAMC. The Alexandria VAMC has contracted with a local detoxification facility that provides a safe therapeutic environment, meals, and transportation for the veterans enrolled in the VAMC Outpatient Program.

Homeless Program - A Homeless Program was initiated in FY2000. Extensive outreach services are now in place for identification and linkage to services for homeless veterans. The Alexandria VAMC has co-sponsored and been the lead planning agency for the central Louisiana Homeless Stand Down during FY 2004 - 2006.

Community Residential Care (CRC)- The CRC Program has been instrumental in the community placement of long-term care psychiatric patients, providing comprehensive case management services and interventions.

Adult Day Care Program - provides contract services for veterans in a licensed Adult Day Care Program for daily stimulation and recreation. ADHC is provided in a protective setting during part of the day but less than 24-hour care. An emphasis is on helping participants and their caregivers to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to manage care requirements in the home. Approximately thirteen veterans per month utilize the program from two contractual agencies.

Homemaker/Home Health Aide (H/HHA) Program - Homemaker/Home Health Aide (H/HHA) Program - this program was initiated in FY 2000 and provides homemaker/home health aide visits to eligible veterans using Contract Nursing Home funds.

Community Nursing Home Care -The Alexandria VA Medical Center is very involved in community activities. Our employees support many local charities through holiday food and toy drives, serving food at a local soup kitchen, clothing drives, and participating in charitable organizations' fundraisers such as the annual corporate spelling bee, cooking contests, and drug awareness activities. Many of our employees take active roles in Non Profit Organizations as Board of Director and Advisory Board members. We also maintain a high profile in such community activities as parades and military appreciation activities. The Alexandria VA Medical Center participates in the Leadership Central Louisiana program, sponsored by Louisiana State University at Alexandria.

In honor of central Louisiana Vietnam veterans, Alexandria VAMC hosted the Vietnam Moving Wall in April 2006. The medical center had approximately 4000 visitors. The opening ceremony including the following speakers: Congressman Rodney Alexander and command staff from the Louisiana National Guard and Fort Polk.

In conjunction with Life Share Blood Center, we have a blood drive on station every 56 days (6-7 blood drives per year). As an organization; we have one of the most successful blood drive programs in Central Louisiana. In 2005 the Alexandria VA Medical Center was awarded the Donor Group of the Year Award from Life Share Blood Center.

The Alexandria VA Medical Center organized the Central Louisiana Healthcare Ethics Coalition (CHEC). The coalition, comprised of 25 healthcare leaders, focuses on healthcare ethics and establishing ethical standards within the community.

Active Issues: 

Improve waits and delays problems - In order to improve our waiting times in both Primary Care and Specialty Care, we are continually making efforts to recruit new physicians and other providers and to restructure clinics and workload. We have experienced a dramatic reduction in waiting times but we still have work to do.

Improving access to care by opening the Lafayette CBOC - The Lafayette CBOC relocated to permanent clinic site in December, 2003 and has experienced a considerable increase in workload. We are currently in the process of expanding into vacant space contiguous to our clinic for additional primary care teams and expanded mental health services.

Upgrading technology in Imaging to provide enhanced diagnostic services - The Network has approved and funded the purchase and installation of an MRI suite in our Imaging department. A replacement CT Scanner has also been purchased and is being installed this fiscal year.

Congressional Issues: 

Approval of the CARES National Plan has generated increased congressional interest in the relocation of the Jennings Community Based Outpatient Clinic to Lake Charles. We also continue to receive numerous Congressional inquiries from veterans regarding the suspension of enrollment for Priority Group 8. There is also much congressional interest in services for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom veterans and our collaboration with DOD to provide outreach to the returning troops.

VA-DoD and Other Sharing Issues: 

This facility is a secondary support center within the VA/DOD contingency hospital system. It is also an installation support center for Fort Polk Army Base.

To support the seamless transition of combat veterans to civilian life the Medical Center is actively involved in Demobilization Briefings at Fort Polk. Staff members attend as many as four briefings a week to provide Medical Center/VA Benefits information to returning soldiers.

This Medical Center has established a VA/DOD Sharing Agreement with Baynes-Jones Army Community Hospital (BJACH) at Fort Polk and Camp Beauregard in Pineville for laundry and linen services and an agreement with the Louisiana National Guard to provide dental care to guard members.

Alexandria actively maintains sharing agreements within its network by providing consolidated laundry services and the use of 47 nursing home beds to the Shreveport VA Medical Center.


Members of the Congressional delegation, veterans' service organizations, employees, media, and other stakeholders have been kept up to date on the status of the CARES plan. Approval of the CARES National Plan has generated increased congressional and stakeholder interest. The plan will enhance access to primary care services by opening new community-based outpatient clinics in the Leesville, Lake Charles, and Natchitoches areas.


Sites of Care:

The VA Medical Center, Alexandria, Louisiana consists of the medical center facility located on Shreveport Highway, Pineville, Louisiana. The Alexandria VAMC also has Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOC) in Lafayette, Louisiana serving Lafayette Parish and other surrounding parishes and in Jennings, Louisiana serving Jefferson Davis Parish and other surrounding parishes.

The VAMC Alexandria is categorized as a primary and secondary care facility. It is a teaching hospital, providing a full range of primary care services with state-of-the-art technology and education. Comprehensive acute and extended health care is provided on a primary and secondary basis in areas of medicine, surgery, psychiatry, physical medicine and rehabilitation, neurology, oncology, dentistry, geriatrics, and extended care. The Medical Center serves a potential veteran population of over 100,000 veterans and an active patient roster of over 37,000. The Alexandria, Louisiana VAMC is a part of VA Network 16, South Central VA Health Care Network, which includes facilities in Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Southeast Texas, and Northwest Florida.

Ambulatory Care services are provided in-house and through community-based clinics in Jennings and Lafayette, Louisiana. Surgical (in-patient and ambulatory) and medical services are provided through two wards, 5 operating rooms, a Post-Anesthesia Care Unit, and ICU. Tertiary care services are provided through referrals primarily to VAMC's Shreveport, Jackson, and Houston. The extended care program includes two Nursing Home Care Units, including an 18 bed Alzheimer's Unit with enclosed walking yard. Alexandria is one of three Specialty Referral Facilities in the VISN for acute and intermediate psychiatric care. VAMC Alexandria receives long-term psychiatry referrals from network facilities and VA facilities in bordering states.

Affiliations: VAMC Alexandria has active affiliations with the Tulane University of School of Medicine (with residency programs in preventive medicine and ophthalmology) and LSU Medical School (with residency programs in family medicine, clinical pharmacology, and physician assistants). Other affiliations include:

Northeast Louisiana University - speech pathology
Northwestern State University - physical therapy, occupational therapy, and recreation therapy
Louisiana State University - nursing and social work
Our Lady of the Lake University - nursing
Louisiana College - occupational therapy and recreation therapy
Alcorn State University - occupational therapy and recreation therapy
Alexandria Vo-Tech - occupational therapy and recreation therapy
Louisiana State University (Alexandria) - occupational therapy and recreation therapy
Grambling State University - associate dietetics program and recreation therapy
Louisiana Tech University - audiology, psychology, biomedical engineering, physical therapy, and dietetics
Central Louisiana State Hospital - physical therapy
Xavier University - pharmacy
Southern University - recreation therapy
Tulane University - social work

Construction: Several non-recurring maintenance infrastructure projects have been completed in 2006; they include renovation of the food service preparation area in Building 4, renovation of a MRI/CT Suite, installation of a modular building for the Canteen Retail store and replacement of Chiller # 3. One additional project, the upgrade of our Fire Alarm and Detection System is under construction at this time.

A minor construction project is under way to replace the extended care ward of 38 beds in Building 2. Building 2 is a 1929-vintage structure and has significant structural, mechanical, and environmental problems, which make the building unsuitable for patient care according to contemporary clinical standards. This project will construct a new wing to Building 45, which houses 116 nursing home beds. This project is expected to be completed during the 2nd Quarter of FY 2007.

Labor Relations: The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), Local 1972, represents nonprofessional and professional employees at the VAMC Alexandria. The VAMC Alexandria has an established Local Partnership Council consisting of members from management and the local bargaining unit. The Partnership Council meets regularly to discuss and resolve problems and concerns of labor and management.


Tammie Arnold
Public Affairs Officer
Alexandria VA Health Care System, Alexandria LA