VA Central California holds town hall for veterans


VA Central California Health Care in Fresno hosted a veterans town hall meeting on Wednesday, May 15, updating veterans on the latest happenings at the VA and what the future holds.

The VA’s leadership team provided information about how the VA is working to improve the care it provides for veterans.

Associate Director Demitric Franklin said the VA is improving parking, nutrition, communication and overall care for veterans.

Franklin introduced a new software system that gives a warning to patients who might be allergic to certain foods.

Franklin said the VA’s new nutrition program provides “bedside ordering as if you’re in a five-star restaurant.”

“The chef is going to walk up to you and discuss what you want,” Franklin said. “That’s something we’re looking to implement for this summer, so we’re very excited for that.”

In regards to transportation, Franklin said the VA has been listening to veterans’ concerns, especially from those who live outside of Fresno in places such as Tulare, Oakhurst and Merced.

“We didn’t provide transportation for them from their area to here in Fresno,” Franklin said. “I’m happy to report that also coming this summer is our veterans transportation service.”

Franklin said the VA is addressing the parking the issue by working with the Fresno Housing Authority, as well as Housing Urban Development to use vacant land across the street.

Franklin added that the VA hopes to get a parking garage in the near future.

The VA also gave updates on the physical environment, saying work is being done to improve the hallways and the landscape around the building.

“Those are all things that hopefully will make you very proud as you walk through the door,” Franklin said.

Franklin also said the VA is trying to get better at answering phone calls.

“We don’t answer the phones very well,” Franklin said. “We’re looking to create this giant database, so when we transfer a patient to a particular individual, that individual can truly answer your questions.”

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