A 5-STAR LEVELS OF EXCELLENCE CHAPTER
While COVID-19 is still with us and will be for the foreseeable future, VA is updating its COVID-19 safety precautions, including relaxing masking requirements at VA medical facilities.
Except for high-risk areas and situations, universal masking is no longer required. This is in line with CDC guidance and builds on the lessons we’ve learned in the last three years on how to keep patients and staff safe.
Masks will continue to be required for staff, Veterans, and visitors while in the high-risk areas listed below:
Masking also continues to be required:
Moving forward, VA will monitor any changes to CDC guidelines and update infection control recommendations as necessary.
Your well-being and access to safe, professional care are our priorities, and we are honored to serve you!
Please contact your care team if you have any questions.
Your Roseburg VA Health Care System Team
VA is the world’s leading research and educational center of excellence on PTSD and traumatic stress. VA has a National Center for PTSD and there are abundant resources available on the website. By visiting this site, you can learn more about PTSD and available treatment options, as well as locate VA care centers near you.
VA also created “PTSD Coach,” an app that provides tools and resources to help you learn about and manage PTSD symptoms. Additionally, VA has developed this helpful guide you can share with families and friends to help them understand PTSD and how they can support you.
Letting others know how you feel and asking for support can be extremely helpful. We encourage you to access information regarding mental health care and resources here. allows this site, you can explore mental health resources by topic and locate VA and community resources near you. Additional assistance can also be found at this website, Don't wait. Reach out.
If you are experiencing a crisis, the Veterans Crisis Line or National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, is available by dialing 1-800-273-8255, (Veterans press 1). The crisis line is staffed around the clock by a caring, qualified responders, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
We care about you and encourage you to use these resources. Please do not hesitate to reach out to VA with any assistance you might need for a safe and joyful holiday season!
If you know a Veteran who is in crisis, call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and press 1.
Roseburg, OR --Veterans can now participate in VA Uber Health Connect — an initiative that provides supplemental transportation to eligible Veterans needing access to and from medical care appointments.
Based on survey feedback from 2,300 Veterans between March 2022 and January 2023, 83% of Veterans stated they would not have been able to access their medical care without the program.
"The VA Uber Health Connect Initiative bridges the transportation gap by ensuring Veterans have reliable transportation for their health care needs," said National Lead of VA Uber Health Connect Indra Sandal, Ph.D. "By offering ridesharing as an additional means of transportation, VA is helping Veterans access the best and soonest possible care — while still achieving cost savings."
The VA Uber Health Connect Initiative launched as a pilot program in 2022 at ten VA Medical Centers. From January 2022 to March 2023, VA Uber Health Connect completed more than 30,000 Uber rides across 408,529 miles for Veterans. These rides have increased access, improved clinical engagement, and saved VA an estimated $35 million. The cost savings are partly from faster emergency department and inpatient discharges and closing the gap on an estimated 28,000 missed appointments.
This year, the program is expanding to nine new Veteran Integrated Service Networks and 60 VAMCs.
According to the American Hospital Association, 3.6 million people in the United States do not obtain medical care due to transportation challenges. Children, older adults, and Veterans are especially vulnerable to transportation barriers due to social isolation and underlying medical conditions and have a greater need for frequent clinician visits.
"This is a life-altering program that offers our most vulnerable Veterans care — the moment they need it," said RVAHCS Medical Center Director Patrick Hull. "It also advances our ability to offer more accessible, equitable health care to our local Veteran community."
Veterans or transportation teams interested in learning more about the program are encouraged to contact their local facility.
Alt text: VHA Uber Health Connect.
The point of contact for this release is the Public Affairs Office, Roseburg VA Health Care System; email@example.com; 541-440-1000, Ext. 43026.Have you opened a new location, redesigned your shop, or added a new product or service? Don't keep it to yourself, let folks know.
Disagree with VA's decision on your claim? You can request a higher-level review (HLR) of a benefits claim decision. The VA offers an optional one-time informal conference. This helps Veterans or their representative to speak directly with a higher-level reviewer assigned to complete the decision review.
On April 26, 2022 VA announced the addition of nine rare respiratory cancers to the list of presumed service-connected disabilities due to exposure to fine particulate matter for Veterans who served any amount of time in Afghanistan, Djibouti, Syria or Uzbekistan during the Persian Gulf War, from September 19, 2001, to the present, or The Southwest Asia theater of operations from August 2, 1990, to the present.
VA is taking a new approach to making decisions on presumptives, one that takes all available science into account, with one goal in mind – getting today’s Veterans, and Vets in the decades ahead – the benefits they deserve, as fast as possible.
VA identified, through a focused review of scientific and medical evidence, a biological plausibility between airborne hazards, specifically particulate matter, and carcinogensis of the respiratory tract; the unique circumstances of these rare cancers warrant a presumption of service connection.
Veterans and survivors who had claims previously denied for any of the below respiratory cancers are encouraged to file a supplemental claim for benefits;
1. Squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx;
2. Squamous cell carcinoma of the trachea;
3. Adenocarcinoma of the trachea;
4. Salivary gland-type tumors of the trachea;
5. Adenosquamous carcinoma of the lung;
6. Large cell carcinoma of the lung;
7. Salivary gland-type tumors of the lung;
8. Sarcomatoid carcinoma of the lung
9. Typical and atypical carcinoid of the lung.
VA will contact impacted Veterans and survivors to inform them about their eligibility and it will provide information on how to apply.
To apply for benefits, Veterans and survivors may visit VA.gov or call toll-free at 800-827-1000.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is proposing changes to the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities specifically pertaining to the respiratory, auditory and mental disorders body systems.
The proposed updates to the rating schedule for these conditions will enable VA to incorporate modern medical data and terminology to provide Veterans with more accurate and consistent decisions.
Veterans who currently receive compensation for a service-connected condition in these body systems will not have their disability rating impacted when the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities is updated. Updating the rating schedule allows Veterans to receive decisions based on the most current medical knowledge relating to their condition.
By incorporating modern medical data in the assessment of disabilities and how they impact earning capacity, Veterans will receive evaluations which more accurately compensate them for their service-connected disabilities. Proposed updates include:
Modernizing the evaluative rating criteria for sleep apnea, using developments in medical knowledge to evaluate it based on its responsiveness to treatment, bringing the rating criteria for sleep apnea more closely in line with the stated purpose of the rating schedule.
Evaluating tinnitus (ringing in the ears) as a symptom of the underlying disease which causes it, rather than as a stand-alone disability.
Evaluating mental health conditions based on a more robust and holistic approach that assesses how impactful the disability is to cognition, interpersonal relationships, task completion, life activities and self-care. Additionally, the proposed evaluation criteria include a 10% minimum evaluation for having one or more service-connected mental health conditions and will no longer require “total occupational and social impairment” to attain a 100% evaluation.
No change to a Veteran’s current rating would occur due to these proposed changes. If the proposed changes are finalized, Veterans who currently receive compensation for a service-connected condition can apply for increased compensation, but no reductions shall be made unless an improvement in the Veteran’s disability is shown to have occurred.
The public has 60 days to provide comments to VA regarding the two proposed updates via the Federal Register notices located here and here.
Thomas J. Murphy Director, Northeast District Performing the Delegable Duties of the Under Secretary for Benefits
You may be eligible for newly enacted service-connected benefits.
Over the course of the last six months, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has begun processing service-connected disability claims for six new presumptive conditions related to environmental exposures during military service. We request your help in making more Veterans aware of these newly added presumptive conditions to help them file a claim and obtain any earned benefits.
In May 2021, VA started implementing provisions of the William M. Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (NDAA), adding:
1. Bladder cancer
to the list of medical conditions presumptively associated with exposure to Agent Orange. A few months later VA added
6. sinusitis (to include rhinosinusitis)
on a presumptive basis based on particulate matter exposures during military service in Southwest Asia and certain other areas.
Any Veteran who was previously denied service-connection for any of these six conditions but had symptoms manifest within 10 years of military service would need to file a supplemental claim. Be sure to use VA Form 20-0995, Decision Review Request: Supplemental Claim when filing. The claim form should include the name of the condition and specify that the condition is being claimed due to in-service exposure to environmental hazards.
VA is committed to assisting Veterans who may have been exposed to hazardous materials during their military service.
Be sure to stay plugged in to www.va.gov for the most recent developments around environmental exposures during military service, as VA is constantly conducting research and surveillance as well as reviewing scientific literature for conditions that may be related to exposure during military service.
For more information about VA benefits and eligibility, or how to file a claim, Veterans and survivors can visit VA’s website at www.va.gov or call toll-free at 1-800-827-1000.
Roseburg VA opens lactation pods in Roseburg and Eugene
"Hello, mamas!" reads the sign on the two new Mamava Lactation Pods that Roseburg VA Health Care System (RVAHCS) proudly launched on February 1, 2022. One is located at the Roseburg VA Medical Center, in Building 1 on the 5th floor, just outside the elevators.
The other is located at the Eugene VA Health Care Center on the 2nd floor, next to the elevator banks.
Mamava Pods are available for mothers, Veterans, and VA employees who need a private, safe, and clean area to breastfeed, bottle-feed, or pump.
They can also be utilized as a quiet space for parents who need a parenting moment with their child. The pods are ADA accessible, have easy to wipe seats, counter space, electrical plugs, USB ports, and a mirror.
The Mamava app is available from the AppStore and Google Play. Registration is required to use the app; however, it only requires an email address, password, and first and last name. With the app, you can unlock the pod, reserve times, receive vacancy alerts, see if the pod is open, adjust the light and fan, and search for other Mamava Pods while traveling. Pods can also be accessed with a code using the keypad.
Mamava Lactation Pods offer parents on-the-go a friendlier, cleaner, and more comfortable alternative, and RVAHCS is delighted to be able to provide them. Inside lactation pod
The point of contact for this release is Traci Palmer, Acting Public Affairs Officer, Roseburg VA Health Care System; firstname.lastname@example.org; 541-440-1000, Ext. 43026.
Roseburg VA Health Care System913 NW Garden Valley Blvd
Roseburg, OR 97471
Contact the RVAHCS Call Center at 541-440-1000 for information about walk-in hours.
CDC advises that it is safe for people to get both the COVID-19 vaccine and flu vaccine at the same time. Veterans receiving care at VA who wish to get a booster shot can get both shots together during the same visit.
Visit VA’s Questions webpage for questions and answers regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.