Patient advocates serve as communicators, facilitators and problem solvers, helping Veterans at two Pittsburgh-area facilities and five community-based outpatient clinics resolve any health care concerns they may have.
They handle a variety of issues, including referrals for information, questions about policies and procedures and feedback on service (compliments and suggestions for improvement).
Be prepared to give patient advocates your name, the names of the individuals on your care team and the details of your concern. They will also ask if you have contacted others about the matter.
If you need assistance, please call 412-360-3614 at University Drive or 412-822-1562 at H.J. Heinz.
In 1981, Congress passed the "Former Prisoners of War Benefit Act" that established an advisory committee on former prisoners of war and mandated medical and dental care. It also identified certain diagnoses as presumptive service-connected conditions for former POWs. Subsequent public laws and policy decisions by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs have added additional diagnoses to the list of presumptive conditions.
Former POWs can apply for compensation for their service-connected injuries, diseases, or illnesses by completing VA Form 21-526, Veterans Application for Compensation and/or Pension. They can also apply online at http://vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp/main.asp.
For more information, contact our FPOW Advocate, Bernadette Lauber, at 412-360-1290.
This program ensures that minority Veterans receive benefits and services on par with other Veterans, encounter no barriers or impediments in their attempts to access those services, and are treated with respect and dignity by VA service providers.
The Minorty Veterans Program is designed to act as a mediator and facilitator. As such, the program does not process claims, handle equal employment complaints, or employee related issues. The program is dedicated to ensuring that all Veterans are aware of benefits, services and programs offered by the VA.
Every VISN 4 VA Medical Center supports a team of medical experts devoted to helping Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND) Veterans adjust to civilian life. Case managers at every VISN 4 medical center offer returning service members confidential, one-on-one assistance with their health care concerns.
In addition, our transition patient advocates work specifically with OEF/OIF/OND Veterans to make sure that they understand their benefits and rights and get the health care services that they have earned and deserve.
Service members returning from Afghanistan or Iraq can also contact one of our transition patient advocates:
For more information on the VA's patient advocacy program or patients' rights and responsibilities, visit www.patientadvocate.va.gov/index.asp.