The Crusader Newspaper Group

Jesse Brown VA and VBA highlight virtual care and homeless population

By Chanda Johnson

On Saturday, January 11, 2020, staff members from the local Jesse Brown Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) office joined the America’s Heroes Group radio talk show to discuss the virtual enhancements for veterans care through My HealtheVet and Telemedicine. In additionVBA discussed the Annual Chicago Point-in-Time Homeless Count initiative. The panelists from Jesse Brown VA were Public Affairs Officer Chanda Johnson, My HealtheVet Coordinator Levi Laroco and Telehealth Clinical Technician Tambrey Seals. U.S. Army Veteran Paratrooper and Executive Director Hughes S. Turner joined from VBA.

Levi Laroco from Jesse Brown VA discussed how veterans can use the VA’s online health care portal, My HealtheVet, to access health records, appointments, prescription refills and communicate with health care teams through Secure Messaging. My Heal- theVet was designed to provide one-stop, online access to better manage overall health and make informed health care decisions, offering anytime, anywhere access to VA health care information and services.

Veterans can easily sign up through a two-step process. Register online at and then visit Jesse Brown to upgrade the account through in person authentication to prove identity and protect patient privacy. Bring a valid government-issued photo ID and sign a release of information form (VA Form 10-5345a).

Tambrey Seals shared developments and progress of Jesse Brown’s Telehealth programs. VA Telehealth Services is changing the way Veterans access VA care. From home, clinic, hospital, or even your mobile device, telehealth technologies make it easier for veterans to connect with their care teams. To sign up, simply request an appointment through the provider. Jesse Brown continues to enhance accessibility, capacity and quality of VA health care for veterans within the Chicagoland area and nationally. The program was recently honored for its achievements with a 2019 Award of Excellence from Broadband Illinois. Last year, Jesse Brown coordinated Telehealth care to over 8,000 veterans in 12 different specialties.

Veterans Benefits Administration discussed the 2020 Chicago Point-in-Time Homeless Count. The Point-In-Time Homeless Count provides the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS), the Chicago Continuum of Care, and its partners with a “snapshot” of Chicago’s homeless population. The data gathered serves as a basis for federal funding, informs service and resource planning, and raises public awareness about homelessness. Volunteers will gather on Thursday, January 23 from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. for this citywide initiative.

Veterans can reach Levi Laroco at 312-569-6450 for more information on My HealtheVet and Tambrey Seals at 312-569-5533 for details on Telehealth. To join the Chicago Point-in-Time Homeless Count event, email [email protected]. The VBA Chicago Regional Office is co-located with the Jesse Brown VA at 820 S. Damen.

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