VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System Philosophy
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ABOUT VA NEBRASKA-WESTERN IOWA HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
Based in the community of Grand Island in central Nebraska, VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System provides treatment services for veterans struggling with chemical dependency, mental illness, and co-occurring difficulties. The health care system offers a residential substance abuse treatment program and outpatient-based services through the Grand Island VA Medical Center, one of eight Nebraska locations operated by the health care system.
TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT
To effectively develop an appropriate treatment plan, patients undergo an initial substance abuse and/or psychiatric assessment. If a patient requires structure and supervision to acquire sobriety, they may be referred to the Grand Island VA Medical Center's residential substance abuse unit. Clients who do not require hospitalization may be referred to the facility's outpatient clinic.
To treat veterans struggling with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders, VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System's programming may involve individual and group counseling sessions, as well as educational classes on identifying relapse triggers and improving coping skills. If applicable, marriage or couples counseling may also be recommended to educate loved ones on the process of recovery and help improve relationships. To promote long-term recovery and help patients develop community-based support networks, VA treatment programs typically also incorporate 12-step principles and participation into treatment. Patients may attend on-site 12-step meetings and perform associated "step-work."
As a program for veterans, specialized treatment programs address issues that commonly contribute to substance abuse among veterans, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), grief and loss, and depression. Patients may receive ongoing medication management to treat any co-occurring mental heath concerns. In some cases, VA treatment programs may also incorporate medication-assisted treatment, such as Suboxone or methadone, into programming to help veterans struggling with opioid dependency. MAT is utilized to help curb opioid cravings and minimize the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms.
Before completing the residential treatment program, VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System may provide patients with referrals for vocational training and other community-based resources. Patients may also be encouraged to utilize one of the facility's outpatient-based programs as a "step-down" aftercare service. Typically, intensive outpatient programs (IOP) offered by VA facilities last between six and 10 weeks. The outpatient clinic may also offer specialized counseling services to treat various mental health concerns, medication management, and other supportive services.
VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System employs a multidisciplinary team of psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, registered nurses, licensed professional counselors, case managers, social workers, and peer specialists.
ACCOMMODATIONS & AMENITIES
The Grand Island VA Medical Center is a full-service VA hospital with a Community Living Center, which can accommodate up to 65 patients. However, no information is available concerning the accommodations and amenities of the residential substance abuse unit.
WHAT ALUMNI SAY
The sole alum polled by Rehabs.com at the time of this writing praised the facility, offering perfect five out of five-star ratings for the quality of the facility's accommodations and amenities and for the overall effectiveness of treatment. "The VA helped me save my life, alum Sean wrote. "The staff is the best." Alum Sean also appreciated the specialized treatment for veterans.
Secondary sources also revealed generally positive opinions of VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System. Concerning the Grand Island location, three individuals on Google reviews all gave the facility perfect five out of five-star ratings.  "Out of all the VA hospitals I suggest this one for medical needs as well as substance abuse recovery," Brandon, a representative reviewer, wrote. On the treatment provider's Facebook page, which the VA can manage, 96 individuals gave the network of facilities, as a whole, an average rating of 3.8 out of five stars.  Positive opinions tended to praise the treatment provider's staff. The staff from the janitor to the MD's is completely astonishing. "They truly care not only about the patient but family members also," Susie, a representative reviewer, wrote of the Omaha location.
WHAT STAFF SAY
Secondary sources also revealed generally positive employee opinions of the treatment network. On Indeed, seven individuals gave the facility an average rating of 4.4 out of five stars.  One representative reviewer, who assisted with MAT in the substance abuse unit, wrote: "It was a great learning experience and I enjoyed all of the people I worked with. Daily operations were organized and on par at all times."
VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System accepts private insurance, Military Health System plans, and Medicare.
Published on February 2018
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