State adds jobs for Veterans Affairs

    Anchorage, Alaska (KINY) Alaska veterans should be getting better service after changes to the Alaska Department of Veterans Affairs.

     Director of the Alaska VA Healthcare System Dr. Timothy Ballard said the staff is being added in response to negative reviews from both patients and staff.  The 100 new positions will cost about $6 million and bring the number of staff to 650.

    The new workers will focus on mental health services and in support functions.  The Department plans to have the new hires on the job within six weeks.  Dr. Ballard showcased the VA healthcare system to the press this week in Anchorage.  The state has seen some very significant changes to the way they care for veterans due to new dollars from the Choice Program and the CARE Program.

    The Veterans Choice Program is a new, temporary benefit that allows eligible veterans to receive health care in their communities rather than waiting for a VA appointment or traveling to a VA facility.  When services are not available within the VA or other government medical facility, eligible veterans may be referred to a community provider through the VA Community Care Program.  This is used when VA facilities are not feasibly available.





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