Buena Vista VA Resource Fair & Town Hall

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Resource Fair, noon to 3 p.m.
Town Hall, 3-4 p.m.

American Legion Post 55
338 N Railroad Street
Buena Vista, Colorado 81211

This resource fair is an opportunity for thousands of rural Veterans to get one-on-one support with
understanding, accessing and using their benefits and services.

We’ll also have folks from NCA (memorials and burials) available in person.
This will be a great opportunity for Veterans in and around Chaffee County
who may have been exposed to burn pits and other toxic substances.
We will have VBA reps to explain PACT Act-related eligibility, as well as
VA ECHCS nurses traveling for on-site toxic-exposure screenings.

Veterans and survivors can speak with a VA benefits specialist about PACT Act-related eligibility. When confirmed eligible, Veterans will get assistance with enrolling and scheduling an initial appointment. Enrolled Veterans will be offered an on-site toxic-exposure screening by a VA nurse, then given information about follow-up screenings.

Enrolled Veterans can also get help with community care consults, beneficiary travel claims, caregiver support and home and community-based services for extended care needs.

Community leaders can learn how local providers partner with VA and keep Veteran care timely and convenient and meeting individual needs or circumstances, as well as explore community-based initiatives to end homelessness and prevent suicide.

During the culminating town halls, VA ECHCS Director Michael Kilmer will encourage an exchange of information and feedback that will help VA meet Veteran needs. He says community-level collaboration is vital to identifying, testing and evaluating innovative solutions.

Discussions last year, when more than 110,000 community care consults were completed, underlined a need to create liaison positions at every VA outpatient clinic.

“These liaisons will work side-by-side with community providers to put in a consult and immediately process it,” said Kilmer, explaining the on-site resource for both Veterans and providers. “There will be someone in the clinics that they can speak with in-person.”

Kilmer says enrolling helps inform VA health care infrastructure investment strategies.

“Registering is one way to keep resources available to vulnerable Veterans,” he said. “We’ve heard that a lot of Veterans feel enrolling for VA care could take it away from someone who needs it more, but every enrolled Veteran brings VA resources to our communities.”

“If you don’t need it now, you may one day. Even if you already get care elsewhere, it’s a fallback.”

For more information on how to apply, including the documents needed to determine eligibility, visit VA.gov/health-care/how-to-apply.