Archives for March 2015

VA Makes Gains in Faster Disability Claims Processing

VA Makes Gains in Faster Disability Claims Processing

March 30, 2015, 03:18:00 PM

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 VA Makes Gains in Faster Disability Claims Processing

Backlog Reduced 67 Percent Under New Automation and Process Improvements


Washington – The federal initiative to provide timely decisions on disability payments to Veterans has crossed a major milestone in its final sprint to eliminate the backlog of Veterans’ benefits claims.

The major transformation effort to apply new technology and process solutions has paid off at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  It reduced its inventory of backlogged claims from a high of 611,000 claims in March of 2013 to fewer than 200,000 this week, while at the same time improving decision quality.

“Make no mistake, we’re not slowing down short of the finish line,” said Under Secretary for Benefits Allison Hickey. “Our goal is to eliminate the claims backlog by the end of 2015 – meaning all Veterans will receive timely and accurate decisions on their disability claims.”

Hickey credited a combination of factors for the 67-percent drop in backlog: first, the extra hours of work put in by dedicated benefits claims processors across the nation, who have worked evenings, Saturdays and Sundays to drive the backlog down; as well as procedural efficiencies backed by powerful automation tools and paperless claims processing. In addition, she cited the transformation of Veterans Benefits Administration’s training and quality assurance programs resulting in steady increases in the accuracy of decisions.

Just a few years ago, claims processors handled 5,000 tons of paper annually, an amount equivalent to 200 Empire State Buildings. In less than two years, VA converted claims processing to a 21st Century digital environment where claims for VA benefits and services can be submitted and processed, and benefits delivered, online.

Veterans increasingly are filing claims electronically from the start at  Veterans can submit their applications online, upload their supporting documentation, and check the status of their claim through a multi-channel Web portal boasting nearly 60 self-service features.


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Winter Clinic World-Leader in Adaptive Sports

veterans participating in downhill skiing

Veterans participating in downhill skiing.

Nearly 400 disabled Veterans and active duty personnel are in Snowmass Village, Aspen, Colo., this week to make “miracles on a mountainside” at the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic.

Ray Hancock

Ray Hancock served in the Navy in Desert Storm. Watching his fellow Veterans in the different activities, he says, “These guys are just incredible, what they’re doing … wow!”

The National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic is a world-leader in adaptive winter sports instruction for U.S. military Veterans and active duty Servicemembers with disabilities.

Set in stunning Snowmass, Colorado, the clinic celebrates its 29th year, bringing nearly 400 Veterans with traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, orthopedic amputations, visual impairments, and certain neurological conditions to the mountain.

Participating Veterans, seriously wounded while protecting our freedom, have an opportunity to pack more miracles into the weeklong, life-changing event than they ever dreamed possible. They are reminded of the wonder and achievement life still has to offer, despite their profound disabilities.

After conquering a snow-covered mountainside, everyday challenges of life seem much more surmountable for these participants who’ve lost a limb or sight, or endure paralysis. Our Veterans draw inner strength from this experience of a lifetime and use it to overcome life’s challenges head-on when they return home. They also inspire those without disabilities to catch their spirit and go after their dreams.

The National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic is the largest rehabilitative program of its kind in the world today. It utilizes adapted physical activities as well as workshops and educational sessions to aid in the rehabilitation of severely disabled Veterans.

Just some of the adapted sports and activities that have been offered in the past 20 years include:

  • Alpine and Nordic skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Scuba diving
  • Fly fishing
  • Wheelchair golf
  • Wheelchair self-defense
  • Rock wall climbing
  • Sled hockey
  • Trap shooting
  • Blues harmonica instruction
  • Dog sledding
  • Goal ball for the visually impaired
  • Wheelchair fencing
  • Amputee volleyball

Jim Martinson

63-year-old Army Veteran Jim Martinson lost his right leg in Vietnam. He won a gold medal for downhill skiing in 1992 at the winter games and is now participating in the hockey competitions. He offers this advice to newly-injured Veterans, “Get out there, try it and don’t give up.”

The clinic targets disabled Veterans with spinal cord injuries, amputations, neurological disorders, and visual impairments. The Winter Sports Clinic experience improves physical well-being, mental health and self-esteem, thereby enabling Veterans with profound disabilities to rediscover life after disability.

The clinic assists in achieving higher levels of self-actualization and empowers the Veteran participant to live a happier, healthier and more productive lifestyle.

This innovative clinic when first introduced was not readily accepted by the conventional health care mindset. The concept of utilizing challenging adaptive activities in a winter outdoor environment was so new and outside of traditional medical care that many doubted it could succeed and be accepted as an alternative to routine medical intervention.

Kristian Cedeño

Kristian Cedeño sums it up for so many Veterans at the winter clinic: “It’s an opportunity to realize that you’re not done, you’re not over and you’re not broken.”

The National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports has drastically changed the lives of thousands of disabled Veterans, and just as important, has altered the perception the general public has of people with disabilities.

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Hundreds of Disabled Veterans to Attend Winter Sports Clinic

Hundreds of Disabled Veterans to Attend Winter Sports Clinic

March 27, 2015, 04:26:00 PM

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  Hundreds of Disabled Veterans to Attend Winter Sports Clinic

Washington – More than 300 disabled Veterans are hitting the slopes this week at the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass Village, Colorado. The Clinic, sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and DAV (Disabled American Veterans), is the largest adaptive event of its kind in the world and will take place from March 29 through April 3. 

“This Clinic is an excellent example of how VA uses a holistic healthcare model to provide every Veteran with physical and mental treatment options that work for them,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald, who will attend events on April 2. “Through sports and other forms of recreation therapy, we can greatly improve the quality of life for many of our nation’s heroes.”

The Clinic teaches Veterans with disabilities about adaptive Alpine and Nordic skiing. It also introduces them to a number of other adaptive recreational activities and sports. Now in its 29th year, the clinic is an annual rehabilitation program open to U.S. military Veterans with traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, orthopedic amputations, visual impairments, certain neurological problems and other disabilities, who receive care at a VA medical facility or military treatment center. 

“This event teaches some of our most profoundly wounded veterans to challenge themselves to overcome the obstacles they face as a result of their service to our nation,” said DAV National Commander Ron Hope, who twice participated in the event after losing his arm in the Vietnam War. “Veteran participants are able to rediscover abilities and opportunities that they may have thought were taken from them when they were hurt.”

During the six-day event, Veterans also learn rock climbing, scuba diving, snowmobiling, curling, sled hockey and self-defense. For more information, visit





Jordan Schupbach, VA Public Affairs, at (202) 664-3733or

Charity Edgar, DAV Communications, at (202) 641-4822 or


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VA Makes $8 Million in Grants Available for Adaptive Sports for Disabled Veterans

VA Makes $8 Million in Grants Available for Adaptive Sports for Disabled Veterans

March 27, 2015, 11:26:00 AM

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VA Makes $8 Million in Grants Available for Adaptive Sports for Disabled Veterans

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is issuing a Notice of Funding Availability for up to $8 million in grants for fiscal year 2015 to provide adaptive sports opportunities for disabled Veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces throughout fiscal year 2016.

“We encourage non-profit organizations, Veterans’ groups, universities, municipalities and other eligible groups to apply for this funding,” said VA Secretary Robert A. McDonald. “Adaptive sports are more than recreation. Adaptive sports can play an important role in Veterans’ rehabilitation process and help ease the transition from the military to the civilian sector.”

Grants are available to non-federal entities with experience in managing a large-scale adaptive sports program for persons with certain disabilities. The grants call for planning, developing, managing and implementing appropriate adaptive sports activities geared to disabled Veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces. Adaptive sports are those that have been adapted or created specifically for people with disabilities.

Recipients may use grants for training, program development, coaching, sports equipment, supplies, program evaluation and other activities related to program implementation and operation. The deadline to apply is May 26, 2015.

Applications for the adaptive sports grant program may be found at Additional details are posted on the VA Adaptive Sports website

In FY 2014, VA awarded $8 million in adaptive sport grants to 65 organizations providing services throughout the United States to approximately 10,000 Veterans and Servicemembers.


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Rehab Veterans volunteer for four-week lock down

person grabbing a door handle for entry

All it takes is for you to make the decision to enter.

Are you a Veteran with a drug or alcohol problem? Sick and tired of it?

Then a four-week lockdown at the Colmery-O’Neil VA Medical Center in Topeka, Kan., may be just what the doctor ordered.

Sounds a bit extreme, perhaps, but it may be the fresh start you’ve been needing.

“We’re not prison,” observed Dr. Sherry Martin-McCaughtry, who works on the unit. “We don’t do strip searches or anything, and you can leave any time you want. This program is 100 percent voluntary. But it is a locked unit.”

She’s means it. This is not your run-of-the-mill rehab program.

“We had a lot of Veterans coming here to Topeka for three to five days of detox,” explained Martin, an Army Veteran who served during the First Gulf War. “But following detox, we didn’t always have a good next step for them. So we came up with the idea of four weeks of intensive therapy in a secure environment.”

The program was launched in early November 2014.

A Fighting Chance

“We’re a locked unit because even though you’ve detoxed, you’re still at high risk,” Martin emphasized. “And if left unattended during this vulnerable period, you have a much higher risk of relapse. So we don’t want you being by yourself while you’re here with us at Fresh Start. You can have visitors, of course, but a staff member is going to be around at all times.”

At all times? You bet.

“If you have the wrong kind of visitors coming to see you, then you’re in danger of relapsing,” the doctor explained. “We don’t want that happening. We want a staff member with you at all times to help you make the right decisions.

“It’s all about reducing your opportunity to drink or drug as much as we can,” Martin continued. “We’re trying to give you a fighting chance. We’re trying to give you the best environment we can to help you succeed.”

Martin said the Fresh Start program incorporates a lot of healthy things into a patient’s schedule: recreation therapy, nutrition classes, daily living skills, relapse prevention, music therapy, even a little pet therapy from time to time. But then there’s also the hard work of mastering your addiction.

“From 9 to 11 a.m. is our core issues group where we engage in cognitive behavioral therapy,” Martin said. “It’s the core of our program. It’s where the real work gets done.”

So, when you’re in Fresh Start, do you ever get a moment by yourself?

“You’re in your own room only when you’re sleeping,” Martin said. “The rest of your day, we want you with people.”

“Even when you’re sleeping, they come around and check on you every half-an-hour,” said David, a retired Air Force major who recently graduated from Fresh Start. “It didn’t bother me at all. The social workers, the psychologists, the nurses — the entire staff was very kind. They bent over backwards for us. They were very dedicated to us.”

 The doors are locked not to keep you in, but to keep bad influences out. 
Dr. Sherry Martin-McCaughtry

Group of four individuals in a small meeting

Cognitive behavioral therapy. “It’s where the real work gets done.”

Photo by Robert Turtil

Best Decision He’s Ever Made

Dave, who flew an F4 Phantom fighter-bomber during Operation Desert Storm, described himself as a binge drinker who would often go for long stretches without alcohol.

“Normally it takes some negative event to trigger it,” he explained. “I was dating this girl for about four years and we recently broke up. That was my trigger.”

But after his last binge, the 63-year-old Veteran decided enough was enough.

“My blood alcohol content was 0.38,” he said. “That’s pretty high.”

The former pilot said checking into the Fresh Start program was one of the best decisions he’s ever made.

“We had one girl and about 15 guys in the program,” he said. “I became good friends with the girl. We’d exercise together by walking up and down the hallway every day. Sometimes they’d let us go outside and play some basketball — with a chaperone, of course.”

Multiple Detoxes but She Made it Through

Dr. Alicia Wendler, a psychologist who leads discussion groups at Fresh Start, said the comradery that develops among the patients is a significant factor in the program’s effectiveness.

“The Veterans help each other,” she said. “They support one another. When people are in a secure environment together for 30 days, they get to know each other very well. You’re all going through the same thing.

“We had a female Vet in the program who’d had multiple detoxes in the last year,” Wendler continued. “But she made it through this program. I believe it’s because she had these 30 days of being away from any triggers, any stressors, and having that 24-7 support from our team as well as her fellow Veterans.”

“It’s four weeks of a commitment to being sober, and figuring out how to stay that way,” observed Dr. Gina Graham, Chief of Psychology Services at Topeka. “But you have to be ready for it. It wouldn’t work if it wasn’t voluntary. It wouldn’t work if it’s something you were told to do. You have to do it when you’re ready to do it.”

Need help for a drug or alcohol addiction? Search VA’s Substance Use Disorder Program Locator to find the help nearest you.

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Requirement of Standardized Claim, Appeal Forms

Requirement of Standardized Claim, Appeal Forms

March 25, 2015, 12:03:00 PM

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Requirement of Standardized Claim, Appeal Forms

Simplifies Application Process for Veterans

 Washington – With the goal of making the application process easier and more efficient for our Veterans, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) now requires Veterans seeking disability benefits to use standardized claim and appeal forms. These standardized forms guide Veterans to clearly state the symptoms or conditions for which they are seeking benefits and provide the information necessary for VA to start processing their claims and appeals. 

“This change will help VA provide faster and more accurate decisions to our Veterans, their families and survivors,” said Under Secretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey. “Standard forms are essential to better serve Veterans, build more efficiency into VA’s processes and bring us in line with other government agencies such as the Social Security Administration.”

The easiest and fastest way for a Veteran to submit an application for compensation is online through the eBenefits ( portal. VA encourages Veterans to work with representatives of Veterans Service Organization (VSO), or their state or county representatives, who can assist with filing electronically or in paper form. Standardized forms are a key component of VA’s transformation, which will help achieve the Department’s goal to eliminate the backlog by the end of this year.

There are two claim actions that now require standardized forms:

1. Veterans’ or Survivors’ applications for disability compensation or pension – Specific forms are designed to capture information necessary to identify and support benefit claims.

  • Veterans filing for disability benefits must now use VA Form 21-526EZ, Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits.

  • Wartime Veterans filing for needs-based pension must use VA Form 21-527EZ, Application for Pension.

  • Survivors filing a claim for dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC), survivor’s pension, and accrued benefits must complete VA Form 21-534EZ, Application for DIC, Death Pension, and/or Accrued Benefits.

2. Notices of Disagreement with any aspect of VA’s decision on a disability claim – The standardized Notice of Disagreement form is used when a claimant wishes to initiate an appeal.

  • Veterans disagreeing with a VA compensation decision should use VA Form 21-0958, Notice of Disagreement.

  • Veterans and survivors will not be required to use a standardized notice of disagreement form to initiate appeals of pension or survivors benefit decisions at this time.

VA recognizes that some Veterans may need additional time to gather all of the information and evidence needed to support their claim and therefore established a new intent to file a claim process. Applicants may notify VA of their intent to file a claim in order to establish the earliest possible effective date for benefits if they are determined eligible. An intent to file a claim may be submitted in one of three ways: 

  1. Electronically via eBenefits or with the support of a Veterans Service Organization (VSO) through the Stakeholder Enterprise Portal.

  2. Completing and mailing a paper VA Form 21-0966, Intent to File a Claim for Compensation and/or Pension, or Survivors Pension and/or DIC

  3. Over the phone with a VA call center or in person with a public contact representative.

Veterans may appoint a duly authorized representative, such as a VSO, who can notify VA of a claimant’s intent to file using any of the methods listed above. VA will provide an individual up to one year from the date they submit their intent to file a claim to complete the required application form. Veterans may wish to use this one-year period to gather evidence necessary to support the claim so that evidence can be submitted along with the application form.

 VA’s move to standardized claim and appeal forms will make the process easier and more efficient for both VA and the Veterans, and allow VA to establish a quicker, more streamlined benefits delivery system.


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VA Works to Expand Choice Program Eligibility

VA Works to Expand Choice Program Eligibility

March 24, 2015, 08:44:00 AM

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 VA Works to Expand Choice Program Eligibility

Eligibility criteria for 40 miles calculation would change to driving distance

Washington — In order to expand eligibility for the Veterans Choice Program, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced that it will change the calculation used to determine the distance between a Veteran’s residence and the nearest VA medical facility from a straight line distance to driving distance. The policy change will be made through regulatory action in the coming weeks. The Veterans Choice Program was authorized by the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (VACAA).

“VA has worked very quickly to implement the Veterans Choice Program and we appreciate the constructive feedback shared by Veterans and our partners to help us improve service to Veterans,” said Secretary Robert McDonald. “We’ve determined that changing the distance calculation will help ensure more Veterans have access to care when and where they want it. VA looks forward to the ongoing support of our partners as we continue to make improvements to this new program.”

The method of determining driving distance will be through distance as calculated by using a commercial product. The change is expected to roughly double the number of eligible Veterans.

The Veterans Choice Program is a new, temporary benefit that allows eligible Veterans to receive health care in their communities rather than waiting for a VA appointment or traveling to a VA facility. Veterans seeking to use the Veterans Choice Program should call 1-866-606-8198 to confirm their eligibility and to schedule an appointment. Since the Choice Program went into effect on November 5, 2014, more than 45,000 medical appointments have been scheduled.

Using expanded authorities from VACAA, VA continues to expand access to care through increased staffing and enhanced collaboration with both the Indian Health Service and Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems. See the VACAA progress fact sheet here:

VA is enhancing its health care system and improving service delivery to better serve Veterans and set the course for long-term excellence and reform. VA has made significant progress in various areas of the legislation, such as extending the Assisted Living/Traumatic Brain Injury Pilot program and Project Arch, to expand timely access to high-quality health care for Veterans.

For more details about the department’s progress and related information, see and

A fact sheet on the 40-mile-rule change can be found at



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Veterans with PTSD Reclaiming Their Lives

US Army Veteran Ron Whitcomb

US Army Veteran Ron Whitcomb

AboutFace is a website dedicated to improving the lives of Veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  It’s where Veterans can learn about PTSD, explore treatment options and, most importantly, hear real stories from other Veterans and their family members and get advice from clinicians who have treated thousands of cases of PTSD.

Video featuring Major Joshua Brandon

Major Joshua Brandon has been an Infantry Officer with the U.S. Army since 2002 and he has PTSD. Difficult memories were triggered when he was driving to the grocery store in Tennessee and he would smell the smoke from backyard fires.

“I started looking for threats in all directions. My adrenaline would spike. I had to pull over and talk myself out of it.”

Major Brandon has the courage to talk about his experience and how VA has helped him with his PTSD on the website AboutFace. Learn about posttraumatic stress disorder from Veterans who have experienced it. Hear their stories. Find out how treatment turned their lives around.

You’ll see other Veterans from different eras and diverse backgrounds, of all ages and experiences — willing to share their stories to help other Veterans with PTSD.

 I’m enjoying life again. I’m having fun. 

It’s just one of the many resources available to help Veterans learn about PTSD and to seek treatment.

As Dr. Sonya Norman says, “A key message I want to get across is that effective treatments are available for PTSD and they help people recover and feel better.” Dr. Norman is VA’s PTSD Consultation Program Director with the National Center for PTSD.

What is PTSD? What are your treatment options? You can find some quick and easily accessible information here. What is “Cognitive Processing Therapy?” There’s a short video there which explains it. It can help you break the negative thinking that’s holding you back.

Video featuring Dr. Sonya Norman

Take the mystery out of PTSD treatment. The VA clinicians on this site tell you what to expect and make taking that first step a lot easier. Learn more about what getting treatment actually entails and hear VA clinicians talk about treatment that can help Veterans make the decision.

Dr. Norman describes how, “Veterans tell me ‘I’m enjoying life again. I’m having fun. I love holding my baby.’”

There are several effective treatments for PTSD and information about these can be found here.

Video featuring Lt. General James B. “Jim” Vaught

Lt. General James B. “Jim” Vaught will tell you they called it “battle fatigue” when he fought in the Korean War. And anybody can have it.

“PTSD, it doesn’t give a damn about your rank. It’s going to knock hell out of you every now and then.” Listen to his story here.

General Vaught served in the U.S. Army from 1945 to 1983 in Germany, Iran, Japan, Korea, Turkey, United States, and Vietnam.

If you want to learn more, look these at different materials available.

Here you can also get started learning some tools to help with PTSD on your own. It’s a PTSD Coach Online for anyone who needs help with upsetting feelings. Trauma survivors, their families, or anyone coping with stress can benefit from PTSD Coach Online.

(This site isn’t a substitute for recovery oriented treatment but offers some great tools to help people with their symptoms.)

What can I do if I think I have PTSD?

Finally, here’s more background information about PTSD and why it’s important to get treatment.

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Groundbreaking Device Being Tested By VA May Put End to Pressure Ulcers

Groundbreaking Device Being Tested By VA May Put End to Pressure Ulcers

March 19, 2015, 10:23:00 AM

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Groundbreaking Device Being Tested By VA May Put End to Pressure Ulcers

 Helps detect the earliest signs of ulcer formation

Pressure ulcers (commonly known as bed sores) are one of the most troublesome and painful complications for patients during a long hospital stay, but a joint project between the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Center for Innovation and General Electric (GE) Global Research may one day make pressure ulcers a thing of the past.

A multi-disciplinary team of scientists have combined an array of sensing and analytical tools, including motion analysis, thermal profiling, image classification/segmentation, 3-D object reconstruction and vapor detection into a single medical sensing handheld probe to assess and monitor the progression of bed sores or pressure ulcers. 

The device is currently in pilot testing at the Augusta, Georgia, VA Medical Center Spinal Cord Injury Unit. The probe integrates multiple sensing capabilities with analytics and user support features to more acutely measure pressure ulcer formation and/or to determine if an ulcer is healing.

“The collaboration with GE is another example of the innovative work VA is doing with our private sector colleagues to advance the science of health care for our Veterans,” said Dr. Carolyn Clancy, VA’s Interim Under Secretary for Health. “We are pleased to work with GE to pilot a technology that holds the promise of revolutionizing the protocol for preventing and treating painful bed sores. We know that if patients are not turned on a regular basis, they can develop bed sores during their hospital stay as pressure builds up on their skin. By combining physical inspection with the technology capable of allowing real-time monitoring, we may be able to prevent ulcers from forming or advancing. This innovation is about providing the best care to our Veterans and collaborations like this one with GE helps us do just that.”

Individuals with spinal cord injuries with loss of sensation and mobility are particularly at risk for developing pressure ulcers. In U.S. hospitals alone, an estimated 2.5 million patients per year develop pressure ulcers, which require treatment.

“Pressure ulcers are a very pervasive, but also very preventable condition for hospital patients,” said Ting Yu, GE’s Principal Investigator on the pressure ulcer prevention and care program. “The device can help detect the earliest signs of ulcer formation. It also provides a more objective and comprehensive assessment of the wound to understand its progression. We’re now testing this device with VA in a clinical setting to see if it provides the kind of information that will help hospitals reduce and one day eliminate pressure ulcers from developing with patients.”

 For other notable innovative VA research initiatives visit



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These Veterans lost a LOT of weight. You can too!

jogger's feet on a natural running path

Get the MOVE! Coach and get active

Veteran Michael Hollemon lost 107 pounds using the MOVE! Coach app.
“I found it at just the right time. It’s awesome.”

 Veteran Jerry Phelps uses the MOVE! Coach app to keep his weight under control. “Talking to someone every time I finished a guide was great motivation.”

Veteran Warren Pennington lost 45 pounds with the MOVE! Coach app.
“When I started MOVE! Coach, I got serious.”

They did it. You can too and now there’s an app to help you do it.

main screen of the MOVE! Coach mobile application

MOVE! Coach Main Screen

It’s called MOVE! Coach and it’s a phone app that offers a new way to participate in MOVE!, the national weight management program designed by the VA National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention to help Veterans lose weight, keep it off and improve their health.

What is MOVE! Coach?

MOVE! Coach is an easy-to-use, self-guided program that provides everything you need to set, track, and achieve your diet, physical activity, and weight goals. The app walks you through a series of self-management guides, for a total of 19 weeks.

It’s easy to participate. All you need is an iPhone or iPad with iOS version 6.0 or higher.

To download the MOVE! Coach app:    


  • From the Apple App Store, select the “iPhone Only” filter, and
    search for “move coach” in the search box.

MOVE! Coach has great features and benefits

MOVE! Coach Self Management Guides

Read Self-Management Guides

  • 11 specialized guides to help you manage your weight and get healthier
  • Daily diaries for tracking how much you weigh, what you eat, and how much exercise you are getting
  • Tools to help you set and meet your personal goals for weight, diet, and physical activity
  • Personalized graphs for tracking your long-term and daily weight loss, daily food intake, calories, and physical activity
  • Educational videos—including 11 on physical activity—and a variety of games and worksheets make it easier for you to succeed
  • Calculators to determine how many calories you consume and burn
  • Progress and summary reports to help you keep track of your goals
  • Problem-solving tools help guide you past common weight management challenges
  • Links to additional handouts that provide even more information to help you succeed

 Do it, just do it! It’s the only thing that’s worked for me! 

Learn More About MOVE! Coach

In addition to the help sections within the App, more resources such as a Quick Start Guide, Slideshow and FAQs, can be found on the VA Mobile Health training site.

Questions? Here you’ll find 17 helpful FAQs with answers to questions like these:

Do I need to be a Veteran to use the MOVE! Coach mobile app? 

Will the information I enter be shared? 

For more information, visit the MOVE! Coach website at

MOVE! Coach Diet Entry screen

Track your diet

MOVE! Coach offers the support and motivation you need…with some great rewards. As Veteran Warren Pennington puts it, “Do it, just do it! It’s the only thing that’s worked for me!”

Help Desk information

If you have questions or need assistance with using the MOVE! Coach App, dial (877) 327-0022 to speak with a help desk representative. The Help Desk is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET).

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