VA locations in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida staffed a Hepatitis C outreach events allowing Veterans enrolled in VA health care to be tested without a referral.
Jackson and Biloxi along with 11 other VA community clinics throughout Mississippi, Alabama and the panhandle of Florida held the one-day event for Veterans born between 1945-1965 – an age group that generally has a higher rate of Hep C.
“Our June 13 Hepatitis C testing outreach event is our first initiative as a board,” said Steve Gabris, a VA Veterans experience officer for Mississippi. “We really want to use this as an opportunity to get the word out about what the board is, what it represents and how we can assist Mississippi veterans.”
Gabris is referring to the recently stood up Mississippi Community Veterans Engagement Board that joins more than 50 other boards in communities across the nation. The boards are designed to bring together all available local resources and capabilities in addition to those provided by VA to better support Veterans.
Hepatitis C affects millions and it is important that all Veterans born during this period be tested. A VA study shows that new drug regimens for Hepatitis C have resulted in “remarkably high” cure rates among patients in VA’s national health care system. Since Jan. 1, 2014, the G. V. (Sonny) Montgomery VA Medical Center in Jackson has treated a total of 450 Veterans with rates of cure exceeding 90 percent.
Since oral antiviral treatments became available in 2014, VA has treated more than 80,000 patients with Hep C nationwide and continues to treat about 2,000 more Veterans each month curing the vast majority of them from the life threating illness.
Veterans with or without Hep C are encourage to enroll in VA health care. Veterans have several methods to choose from:
- To apply by phone, call 1-877-222-VETS (8387) Monday – Friday between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m..EST.
- When applying online at http://www.vets.gov/, Veterans simply fill out the application and electronically submit it to VA for processing
- The application form can also be downloaded from www.vets.gov/healthcare/apply/. Mail the completed form to: Health Eligibility Center Enrollment Eligibility Division 2957 Clairmont Road Suite 200 Atlanta, GA 30329-1647
- Apply in person at any VA health care facility or VA regional office. Once enrolled, Veterans can receive health care at VA health care facilities anywhere in the country.