Hill Country Veteran Council Meeting
October 17, 2017
Kerrville VA Medical Center Conference Room 024
HCVC Officers: President Vicki Marsh, 1VP Dennis Birchall 2VP Byron
HCVC Members: Maggie Baker, David Rittenhouse, Nick Oprea, Mike
Cagle, William Cantrell
KVA: No Representative
Guests: Ray Amburn (Adjutant VFW Post1480)
Country Veteran’s Councile President Vicki Marsh opened the meeting
at 9:00 AM on September 17, 2017. The below topic were discussed.
Meeting at KVAMC
The date for the KVAMC Town Hall Meeting is still to be determined.
It will be a face-to-face meeting between the South Texas Veterans
Health Care System (STVHCS) staff and Veteran, rather than a
proposed Tele-meeting. Per Mr. Walton, they had envisioned one to
serve the entire STVHCS conducted like Congressman Lamar Smith’s
where you call in to participate, NOT a V-Tel where we gather to
watch a monitor.
Stakeholder’s Meeting at KVAMC
The Quarterly Stakeholder’s Meeting at KVAMC will be on November 2,
2017 and will begin at 11:30. It is recommended that participant
remain for the Information Briefing after the Stakeholder’s Meeting
as information that is important for Veterans is put out at this
time. The HCVC discussed the following proposed questions for the
STVHC staff at the Stakeholder’s Meeting:
a. Thank the Director
for conducting a 2nd job fair here on Sat. Nov. 4th. The one in
March was the 1st conducted in memory. It was very well
received--over 100 participants.
b. Thank the Director for informing Peterson Regional Medical
Center that it cannot bill individual veterans. He was asked to do
this by VA’s Office Inspector General in reply to a veteran’s
c. Question about contracting. Who sets its priorities
and cost limits for procurement of for durable medical equipment (DME)
that exceeds $3500? Most power wheel chairs and/or scooter exceed
that amount. If all of these items are above this limit and must be
declared an emergency, why is the dollar limit not raised? Is this
issue being worked? If so, what is the proposed resolution?
d. What is the status of completing solar panels and
refinishing parking lot. When will the solar project and paving of
the parking lot be completed. We were told at the last
Stakeholder’s Meeting that it would be done by this Fall.
d. What is the status of long-time Vietnam Vets Support
Group’s needs? They still need a regular meeting place, a
facilitator and travel pay for those who come from afar. It meets
twice monthly. The VA started this group several years ago and it
has grown into a closely knit band of brothers. As such, they help
each other navigate past and present challenges to maintain mental
stability. Due to changes beyond their control, they now feel
marginalized and fear losing their long-time-VA-provided “safe
place.” This probably heightens their PTSD symptoms. Sadly, it
reminds them of how poorly they were treated when they came home
from Vietnam. It seems reasonable to give them what they need. It
would seem to be more cost-effective for VA to provide one
facilitator twice monthly rather than providing this small group
comprised of six veterans 12 individual visits per month. Given the
groups longevity and closeness, it would be an easy group to
facilitate. Travel costs are unknown. This group personifies VA’s
“Be there” campaign against suicide for this vulnerable group of
e. What is the status of new Administrative Officer and
status of patient advocate position for KVAMC?
f. What is the status of promised, long-awaited audio
techs to repair hearing aids etc., here at KVAMC?
g. Why do KVAMC’s TVs not show the same internal info as
is shown on Audie’s TVs? This would help area veterans become
better-informed and educate them on STVHCS which is comprised of the
Audie Murphy VA Hospital, KVAMC and its 13 outpatient clinics
a. New lab equipment is in place. KVAMC received its
long-awaited (nearly 1 and 1/2 years) equipment on Aug. 28th.
b. New Mammogram/Bone Mineral Density (BMD) tech is on
board and undergoing orientation.
c. Two (2) new doctors are on hand for the Community
Living Centers. Also each has a small panel.
d. Local repair of Durable Medical Equipment, e.g.
scooters and power w/c’s. Hill Country Medical and Scooters
Plus. The former is certified by the Joint Commission on
Accreditation of Healthcare organizations which makes it more
attractive to VA. The Acting Chief of Prosthetics @ Audie is also
developing a contract with Houston-based Travis Medical which
operates mobile units to provide on-site repairs. The vet would NOT
have to leave home. She is also trying to help the owner of
Scooters Plus who bought 7 lifts from a vendor. He intended to sell
them back to VA, but VA can only use authorized vendors. Yet, she
is trying to help with the last 3 plus she has offered to help with
his wife’s business selling diabetic foot wear, but she needs her to
send her certifications.
being no further business, HCVC President Vicki Marsh closed the
meeting at 10:00 hours.
Notes for Hill Country Vets Council March
2015 Meeting - Click HERE
Archived Meeting Notes