Central Texas VA health care director addresses veterans at town hall meeting.


BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) – Brazos County veterans weighed in on the quality of health care and what changes they want to see at Saturday’s town hall meeting.

The event was hosted by the American Legion Post 159 in Bryan and the Brazos County Veterans Services Office.

The town hall was moderated by Michael Kiefer, director of the Veterans Health Care System of Central Texas.

Doctors, claims specialists and other representatives from the Texas Central VA Health Care System, Bryan-College Station VA Clinic attended the town hall meeting. They explained recent changes and improvements in VA health care and addressed veterans’ concerns in both group and one-on-one settings.

“I wanted to salute our veterans who wanted to come out and get us out,” Kiefer says. I think veterans respond to that personal interaction more than just doing things remotely or through social media.

At the town hall, all topics were open for discussion, but emphasis was placed on informing veterans of community care. This program aims to improve health care in rural communities, like Bryan-College Station, the nearest VA hospital more than an hour away.

“We’re so far away from the VA hospital that we’re going to use the facilities around Bryan-College Station for specialty care,” said Alfred Patterson, Brazos County Veterans Services Officer.

According to the Veterans Administration Veterans Community Care Program (VCCP) provides eligible veterans access to health care services from local community health care providers based on their health care needs and eligibility criteria. However, veterans can still choose to receive health care services from a VA medical facility. In order to avoid paying for community care, VA approval is required for most cases. VA staff members are responsible for determining eligibility for community care.

Patterson said having more care options locally would be beneficial to veterans, their families and caregivers.

“It’s a lot easier to go 15 minutes to your doctor’s visit to Baylor Scott & White or St. Joseph, as opposed to taking a whole day to go out to the temple,” Patterson said.

Brazos Valley Veterans Service Officers

Brazos County Office of Veterans Services 200 South Texas Avenue, Suite 167, Bryan, TX 77803 Phone: (979) 361-4360 Email: patterson@brazoscountytx.gov

Burleson County Veterans Services Officer Franklin Karasek 100 W. Bucks, Suite 104, Caldwell, TX 77836 Phone: 979-567-6360

Madison County Veterans Services Officer 101 West Main, Suite 115, Madisonville, TX 77864 Phone: 936-348-2244 Email: erica.greene@madisoncountytx.org

Robertson County Veterans Services Officer Paul Baker 209 Cedar Street, Hearne, TX 77859 Phone: 979-280-5994

Leon County Veterans Services Officer Kimberly Cervantes 113 West Main, Annex I, 2nd Floor, PO Box 429, Centerville, TX 75833 Phone: 903-536-3666 Email: vso@co.leon.tx.us

Washington County Veterans Services Officer Eric Poser Washington County Courthouse Annex, 105 W. Main Street, Suite 102, Brenham, TX 77833 Phone: (979) 277-6228

Grimes County Veterans Service Officer Jay Lafferty 270 FM 149 W. (Located in the Grimes County Justice and Business Center next to the Sheriff’s Department), PO Box 811, Anderson, TX 77830 Phone: (936) 873-4490

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