Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center, Saginaw, Michigan
Excellence Award for Palliative (End of Life) Care
In May 2018, implementation of a new program, Staff Training in Assisted Living Residences – VA (STAR-VA), began in the Community Living Center (CLC). STAR-VA offers a patient-centered approach to assisting Veterans with dementia who exhibit challenging behaviors as part of the disease progression. STAR-VA focuses on provision of education about dementia and implementation of environmental modifications to reduce challenging behaviors and meet the Veteran’s unique needs. Recently, nursing staff diligently worked to assist a Veteran with dementia using the STAR-VA program. As a result of their dedication and teamwork, nursing staff successfully reduced the Veteran’s frequency of challenging behaviors such that, after implementation of the staff-created STAR-VA plan, the Veteran displayed no dementia-associated challenging behavior. STAR-VA techniques will continue to be utilized in the CLC to serve our Veterans who experience dementia with associated challenging behaviors. Thanks to all staff involved in this new program to enhance the Veterans’ care experiences.
The Aleda E. Lutz VA Palliative Care Team/Unit, managed by Dawn Bass, RN, MSN, received an award on August 1, 2018 from the Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 10 for the excellent care provided on our hospice/palliative care unit which serves Veterans and their families at end of life for the Veteran. Families receive a survey approximately 6-8 weeks after their loved one has died and the performance measure question asks, “How would you rate the care your loved one received in the last month of life?” Our Palliative Care Team strives for EXCELLENT care. The national goal is 65%. For two years in a row, our VA Palliative Care Unit has obtained an average of 87%. Our VA has been top in VISN 10 for the past two years and is one of the top in the nation. The award was presented to the Palliative Care Team and Staff by VISN 10 Palliative Care Leaders Dr. Marcos Montagnini and Mary Davidson, RN MSN. We want to thank our outstanding staff and congratulate them on a job well done!!!