Julie Decker, instructor in nursing at Penn State Altoona, was recently named a collaborative academic research member on a multi-state project called “Veterans’ Action League” that empowers veterans to have an active voice in guiding their health care delivery. In concert with the military health care initiative Canines Providing Assistance to Wounded Warriors (C-P.A.W.W.) under the direction of Cheryl Krause-Parello, housed within the College of Nursing at the Anschutz Medical Campus of the University of Colorado, this national project examines what information veterans need and want to make informed decisions about their health care.
To improve the health outcomes of military veterans, Decker is connecting with powerhouse teams of researchers from the University of Colorado Denver, University of San Diego, University of Texas San Antonio, Florida Atlantic University, University of Rochester and the Ohio State University. The ultimate goal of this collaboration is the development of an interactive tool-kit for use by veterans, community organizations and health care providers to connect veterans with available resources that are presented in a straightforward, user-friendly format.
“We know that veterans reintegrating back into civilian life can face enormous pressure and challenges,” said project lead Krause-Parello, director of C-P.A.W.W. “Many veterans may feel disconnected from the myriad resources that exist to help them. If we take the time to listen to veterans, we can empower our veterans to make the best possible decisions for their own health.”
Using a blend of in-person meetings and digital conferencing among a geographically-diverse team, this project advances a robust, veteran-driven model of patient-centered care and patient engagement, recognizing the discrete health care needs of members of the armed forces.
This project is partially funded through a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award (3302-UCD).