2:42pm

Thu November 10, 2011
Science/Health

VA Adapts to the Newest Generation

Over the next 50 years, a sociologist says America’s newest generation of veterans could be as influential as the World War Two generation.  For example, Veterans Administration researcher Neale Chumbler says today’s disabled veteran demands a normal lifestyle and looks to the VA for support.

“You know, there’s younger veterans who want the prosthesis or their legs so they can run a marathon, so it’s a whole different group,” said Chumbler.

Chumbler says veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are racially diverse, and for the first time, include large numbers of females.  As a result, he says VA hospitals must now provide women’s health care. 

“Within the last 20 years or so, and in particular with these most recent wars, the number of women veterans have spiked tremendously and those who are being treated at local VA medical centers have increased dramatically,” said Chumbler.

Chumbler says the newest generation of veterans will also have easier access to health care.  Instead of relying on major medical centers, Chumbler says the V-A’s network of clinics is expanding into rural areas.  

“So, there’s been an impressive improvement in that it has gone from a hospital based system to a more of an outpatient, primary care oriented system, and so with that has been a wide network of community-based outpatient clinics,” Chumbler said.

Plus, in treating veterans, Chumbler says they rely more on telemedicine. WEKU will have more on Kentucky’s veterans Friday at 11:00 am and again at 7:00 pm, during “11-11-11, A Veterans Day Special.”