To celebrate Veterans Day, we want to highlight some of the ways that Community Health Centers (CHCs) provide resources and opportunities for Veterans – both as potential CHC employees and potential CHC patients. The reasoning is simple: CHCs are mission-driven, service-oriented organizations whose core values align with the mission-driven and service-oriented nature of military service. Moreover, U.S. Veterans similar to CHCs, exemplify integrity, excellence, accountability, and commitment, making Veterans a great fit for CHCs.
Beginning in 2011, the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) entered into an initiative with the White House and Health and Human Services Administration (HRSA) to support the hiring of Veterans at CHCs nationwide. This initiative is still ongoing, and long-time Veterans, as well as those transitioning from service, are encouraged to check out resources for employment opportunities in community-based health care identified here:
- eBenefits website, hosted by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense, offers web-based Veteran hiring tools for job seekers and employers.
- Career One Stop website offers reemployment information to prepare Veterans transitioning from the military to “civilian” careers and posts employer’s career opportunities.
- NACHC provides documents and videos that introduce Veterans to career opportunities at CHCs.
- CHAMPS maintains a website full of Veterans’ information related to patients, job seekers and employers.
- Mission Driven Careers promotes working at Colorado CHCs and provides a job board that lists open opportunities at the 20 CHCs in the state.
Additionally, there is no better way of getting to know what CHCs are all about than being a patient at one. Due to the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014, eligible Veterans are now able to receive medical care in their community, either at a CHC (Federally Qualified Health Center) or other approved clinic.
The resulting Veterans Choice Program allows veterans to receive care at non-VA facilities if:
- they cannot get an appointment at a VA medical center in under 30 days (or the date determined medically necessary by their provider),
- Or they reside more than 40 miles from the closest VA medical facility.
In order to participate in this program, eligible Veterans should determine if their community-based provider or CHC is on the list of approved non-VA providers by visiting the provider locator page, here. Once the Veteran has found a participating provider in his or her area, he/she should follow the instructions found here for making an appointment. The Veterans Choice Program is a temporary program, ending in August of 2017, which does not replace or change any services provided by TRICARE or CHAMPUS. Learn about program eligibility restrictions, and what services are covered by visiting the FAQ page.
Are you interested in a mission driven career that helps make a difference in patients’ lives?
To learn more about Colorado’s CHCs and other great work they are doing, visit CCHN’s website.