As the largest integrated health care system in the United States, VA completes around five million appointments per month across its 1,255 health care facilities. That’s a lot of Veterans and their families waiting in hospital lobbies and often subjected to whatever happens to be on TV at the time. This sometimes leads to a poor experience because not everyone wants to watch the same program.
A new way VA is working to build trust, improve health outcomes and improve the Veteran experience is through the Veteran News Network (VNN). VNN is a television channel developed for Veterans, largely by Veterans. The TV channel is currently being used by 53 VA Medical Centers across the country.
Created in response to customer feedback drawn from Veteran Signals surveys, VNN gives medical centers and clinics increased flexibility as it represents an alternative to the cable news and typical daytime television programming. The channel offers a mix of entertaining, informative and inspiring Veteran-centric content 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This makes VNN a powerful public health tool while simultaneously offering Veterans a sense of community through shared experience.
- Entertainment: Music by military bands, the latest active duty military happenings, and humorous shows about shared military experiences.
- Education: Veteran-centric health education is a cornerstone of VNN programming. It helps to prevent adverse health outcomes while promoting whole health for Veterans. Patient education also encourages Veterans to use more of the benefits and services they have earned.
- Inspiration: Every Veteran has a story and many of those stories are extraordinary. VNN highlights those stories to help inspire and empower Veterans to live their best lives.
- News & Information: VNN’s news series, VA News, helps Veterans stay up to date on the top stories from in and around VA. Veterans learn about innovations, treatment options and resources, and good news stories from around the Veterans community. VA News is now a key component of VA’s digital outreach, shared weekly across VA social media platforms.
“Commercials” on VNN consist of quick video segments highlighting resources from VA’s community partners that have official memorandums of understanding between the two organizations.
Veterans and their families put a great deal of trust in VA to consistently deliver excellent care and customer service for every customer, every time. Early feedback shows that Veterans are happy to consume better, more relevant programming.
While the Veteran News Network has not yet been rolled out to all VA facilities, it is accessible to everyone 24/7 at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nRnlqZTr8Q.
This story is part of the Secretary’s Priorities series, which was outlined to the House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Military Constructions, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies on Feb. 26, 2019, by VA Secretary Wilkie. The Secretary’s Priorities are Customer Service, MISSION Act, Electronic Health Record, Transforming Business Systems, and Suicide Prevention. These stories are designed to give a closer look at the improvements VA is making in how we relate to, interact with, and ultimately serve our Veterans, their families, caregivers and survivors.