November 1, 2011
|Nurse Manager Lekisa Ancalade, R.N. ensures a Veteran has all the answers to his medical questions after an appointment at the new Lake Jackson VA Outpatient Clinic. The VA-staffed facility provides primary health care, mental health care and women’s health services in addition to phlebotomy, X-ray, and telemedicine services.
PHOTO: Staff of Lake Jackson VA Outpatient Clinic
Not even a month old and the Lake Jackson VA Outpatient Clinic has already made a difference in the lives of Veterans living nearby. In fact, some Veterans were treated even before the clinic officially opened.
“We treated several Veterans during the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony,” said Carol Chanco, L.C.S.W., a social worker at the Lake Jackson clinic. “In one case, we got word of a mental health emergency during the ceremony and we took care of it immediately.”
This particular Veteran met with a mental health professional without delay, despite the clinic not being officially opened. The Veteran was among the first to be treated by the clinic’s staff and take advantage of all of the programs and resources the clinic has to offer.
“When a Veteran comes in, the first thing that happens is the nurse takes the Veteran’s vitals,” said Gollavelli J. Krishna, M.D., a staff psychiatrist at the Lake Jackson VA Outpatient Clinic. “If they are referred to me, I conduct a comprehensive mental health examination; and if necessary, prescribe appropriate medication. Then, I refer the Veteran to other staff members such as the social worker for further evaluation and follow-up.”
In the case of the Veteran who was treated at the ribbon cutting ceremony, he was enrolled in a Brazosport Memorial Hospital outpatient program for substance abuse issues. He also received information about community-based resources to pursue job placement and vocational rehabilitation from the social worker.
“We try to refer Veterans to local treatment programs so they do not have to drive all the way to Houston,” said Chanco. “Immediate and local care is what we strive for. Our Veterans have earned and deserve the best care anywhere.”
The Lake Jackson VA Clinic is the seventh outpatient clinic to open in southeast Texas. A need for health care among Veterans in Brazoria County was observed and addressed in accordance with the VA’s mission to provide exceptional health care that improves health and well-being.
The VA-staffed facility provides primary health care, mental health care and women’s health services in addition to phlebotomy, X-ray, and telemedicine services.
Health care at the clinic is provided by a small, but engaged, collaborative team that supports learning, discovery, and continuous improvement with a focus on providing the highest quality health care possible to Veterans. In conversations with members of the clinic’s health care team, the value of teamwork was a major theme.
“I like knowing that I can rely on the other members of the staff for help,” said Krishna. “Since we all have experience in mental health, we can use each other as resources. We have a LVN [Licensed Vocational Nurse], a registered nurse, a social worker, suicide coordinators at the Houston VA, and even the clinic director to lean on. We are very proud of the services we offer.”
The clinic is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. It is located at 208 South Oak Drive, Suite 700, Lake Jackson, Texas. For more information, call 979-230-4852.
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Awarded re-designation for Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Services in 2008, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center serves as the primary health care provider for more than 120,000 veterans in southeast Texas. Veterans from around the country are referred to the MEDVAMC for specialized diagnostic care, radiation therapy, surgery, and medical treatment including cardiovascular surgery, gastrointestinal endoscopy, nuclear medicine, ophthalmology, and treatment of spinal cord injury and diseases. The MEDVAMC is home to a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Clinic; Network Polytrauma Center; an award-winning Cardiac and General Surgery Program; Liver Transplant Center; VA Epilepsy and Cancer Centers of Excellence; VA Substance Abuse Disorder Quality Enhancement Research Initiative; Health Services Research & Development Center of Excellence; VA Rehabilitation Research of Excellence focusing on mild to moderate traumatic brain injury; Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center; and one of the VA’s six Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Centers. Including the outpatient clinics in Beaumont, Conroe, Galveston, Houston, Lufkin, and Richmond, MEDVAMC outpatient clinics logged more than one million outpatient visits in fiscal year 2010. For the latest news releases and information about the MEDVAMC, visit www.houston.va.gov.