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Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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Houston VA Awarded Accreditation for Homeless and Vocational Rehab Programs

April 4, 2012

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The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) was recently awarded a three-year accreditation 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 either the HCHV Program or the 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 three times, first in 2005, then in 2008, and now with this recent survey.

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 areas of community employment services job development and supports, citing that referral sources and Veterans are impressed with the attitude that failure is not an option.

“We have a dedicated, professional, energetic team working hard to meet our Veterans’ needs. I am very pleased they have received the acknowledgement they so richly deserve,” said Laura Marsh, M.D., Mental Health Care executive and listed as one of the 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 team pointed out that the organization is fortunate to have such 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 Adam C. Walmus, M.H.A., M.A., F.A.C.H.E., medical center 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.”

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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 130,000 Veterans in southeast Texas and provides some of the most complex care within the VA Health Care System. The DeBakey VA employs nearly 3,600 staff and is one of 49 institutions within the prestigious Texas Medical Center, one of the largest health and research centers in the world. The DeBakey VA is home to a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Clinic; Network Polytrauma Center; award-winning Cardiac and General Surgery Program; Liver Transplant Center; Epilepsy and Cancer Centers of Excellence; Substance Abuse Disorder Quality Enhancement Research Initiative; Health Services Research & Development Center of Excellence; Rehabilitation Research of Excellence focusing on mild to moderate traumatic brain injury; Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center; $26.8 million Research and Development Program; and Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Center. The hospital offers sophisticated, cutting-edge technology such as PET/CT imaging, the Evident™ microwave ablation system, a CyberKnife®, a Varian Trilogy linear accelerator, a Philips Wide Bore Computed Tomography Simulator, the OR•Control System, the Abiomed Impella 2.5 catheter-based heart pump, and the Sapien heart valve. For more than 50 years, the DeBakey VA has served as the primary teaching facility for our major affiliate, Baylor College of Medicine and operates the largest VA residency program in the nation with 270 residents. Each academic year, more than 2,179 students are trained through 194 affiliation agreements with institutions of higher learning. Including the outpatient clinics in Beaumont, Conroe, Galveston, Houston, Lufkin, Richmond, and Texas City, MEDVAMC outpatient clinics logged almost 1.3 million outpatient visits in fiscal year 2011. For the latest news releases and information about the MEDVAMC, visit