Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital
VA Hires Veterans to serve Veterans
On July 9, Randy Westveer began working as a My HealtheVet (MHV) Assistant at Truman VA in Columbia, Mo. Westveer served 22 years in the U.S. military both in the Air Force and Army. The former Army recruiter went from volunteer to temporary full time employee as part of the VA-wide initiative to assist Veterans with employment goals.
The MHV Assistant position is a temporary position funded by VA Central Office. Veterans are hired temporarily to work with Voluntary Service at each medical center. The MHV Assistant will support the My HealtheVet Program. This position allows Veterans to assist other Veterans with learning about and registering to use My HealtheVet. My HealtheVet is the VA’s Online Personal Health Record. Veterans can use My HealtheVet to store health information, refill VA prescriptions online, communicate online with VA Providers, and more.
“My HealtheVet is fantastic! I only wish I knew about it sooner,” says Westveer, who was volunteering with My HealtheVet four months before being hired. Westveer is excited to help other Veterans register and use the program. The former Army recruiter was surprised that one of the first Veterans he would help register was Dr. William Patterson. Patterson, an Army Veteran and former physician at Truman VA, is the new Network Director for VA Heartland Network (VISN 15).
As Network Director, Patterson guides the direction of the VA medical centers throughout Kansas, Missouri, and in Southern Illinois. This includes the roll out of My HealtheVet, which VA providers are using to communicate online with their patients via Secure Messaging. "My primary care provider, Dr. Burns, was happy I signed up and 'opted in'...right before he advised me to lose weight," Patterson chuckled.
Patterson, a medical doctor and Veteran who receives his care at VA, thinks My HealtheVet helps VA health care teams and Veterans better partner. Westveer and Dr. Patterson like that My HealtheVet put tools for healthy living in their own hands. As Veterans, they enjoy the ability to access VA tools and services online 24/7 from any computer or mobile device with internet access.
Dr. Patterson was happy to have Westveer assist him to register and upgrade his account with a one-time In Person Authentication (IPA). Not only is Westveer the first MHV Assistant hired in VISN 15, but he and Dr. Patterson have a history together. The former Army recruiter recruited Dr. Patterson, who served as a Medical Officer with the U.S. Army in Iraq.
As an Army recruiter, Westveer helped new recruits navigate entrance into military service. Now, he is helping fellow Veterans navigate VA electronic health tools as a MHV Assistant. Westveer is one of hundreds of Veterans expected to be hired as MHV Assistants across the country this summer. Veterans interested in applying for or learning more about the MHV Assistant position and other VA employment programs should visit www.vaforvets.va.gov.