December 9, 2008
HOUSTON – The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) was recently awarded a three-year certification by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) for its Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) and Vocational Rehabilitation Programs.
CARF is a private, not-for-profit organization that grew out of a need in the medical and vocational rehabilitation fields to promote quality programs for people with disabilities and others in need of services. CARF is committed to developing and maintaining practical, customer-focused standards to help organizations measure and improve the quality, value, and optimal outcomes in the lives of the persons they serve.
A three-year accreditation is the highest level of accreditation an organization may be awarded. The survey teams had no recommendations for improvement for both the HCHV Program and the Vocational Rehabilitation Program, a component of the Substance Dependence Vocational Rehabilitation Program. Only three percent of all CARF-accredited facilities internationally achieve this accomplishment. Both programs at the MEDVAMC have now accomplished this high standard twice, initially in 2005 and now with this recent 2008 survey. This was the first accreditation survey for the Supported Employment Program, a component of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program.
The surveyors made numerous positive comments regarding the excellent, compassionate care and professional services provided to veterans in the HCHV Program. The team also noted outstanding performance in the area of the Supported Employment performance measurement, citing the high scores of evidence-based practices and the level of integration of the Mental Health Care Line teams, such as the Mental Health Intensive Case Management Team. One surveyor stressed this was her first time recommending two exemplary commendations to one program.
“We have a dedicated, professional, energetic team working hard to meet our veterans’ needs. I am very pleased to see them receive the acknowledgement they so richly deserve,” said Thomas R. Kosten, M.D., acting Mental Health Care executive and one of this year’s best doctors in the field of psychiatry as determined by the medical knowledge company, Best Doctors®, Inc.
The survey team teams were extremely complimentary of the commitment and passion demonstrated throughout the facility. In addition, the organization is fortunate to have a large number of experienced staff members to meet the needs of the veterans served.
“I am very proud the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center has received such important recognition,” said Edgar L. Tucker, MEDVAMC director. “Our Health Care for Homeless Veterans and Vocational Rehabilitation Programs are top-notch. I am pleased we serve as such a positive example for other hospitals.”
# # #