Studies show that Veterans have unique health care needs and benefit from being treated by providers that have a basic understanding of military culture. The RAND Corporation published a report in 2014 that focused on mental health providers and found that many were not prepared to address the special needs of Veterans and their families.
In 2015, the American Medical Association issued guidelines for assessing a patient’s military experience and duty assignments. Both of these developments signified the need for increased resources and education when it comes to caring for Veterans.
In order to meet these needs, VA is continuing to strengthen its partnership with community providers and has identified an opportunity to share knowledge and resources. VA is an affiliate of the Public Health Foundation TrainingFinder Realtime Affiliate- Integrated Network (TRAIN), and has established VHA TRAIN. This is an external learning management system designed to provide Veteran-focused, accredited, continuing medical education at no cost to community health care providers.
VHA TRAIN is an intuitive and easy-to-access portal that is making Veteran-focused continuing medical information more available to the community providers. The resources available to the health care community include modules on military cultural awareness focusing on military ethos, military organization and roles, stressors and resources, and treatment resources and tools. The centralized, searchable database allows a vast audience to find resources relevant to their specific role within the healthcare industry.
This innovative portal launched on April 1, 2015, and has been used by members of the health care community in all 50 states and 145 countries. As of January 2017, more than 13,000 individuals, including providers, educators, staff from state and federal agencies and individuals working with non-profit organizations or in private sector health care, had completed courses relating to military culture core competencies on VHA TRAIN. Veterans and their families will reap significant benefits from services such as VHA TRAIN, one of the many on-going ways VA is fulfilling its commitment to continuously improving care for Veterans.