Edward Hines VA Hospital

Hines/Provided -- Madison/Sue Stephens/WNIJ

One of the key participants in the Choice Program is regional hospitals. We continue our examination of this program by talking with managers and administrators at two facilities serving veterans in northern Illinois.

The Choice Program is designed to help veterans who are trying to receive specialist care that is either too far away, or the wait time for an appointment is too long. Veterans interested in the program talk to either their primary doctors or local veterans assistance center. These people then refer the veterans to a regional VA hospital.

WNIJ/Chase Cavanaugh

A popular art trend has gained a firm foothold at the Edward Hines Veterans Administration Hospital, with 15 departments taking part in an “adapt a pallet” program.

The results are now strategically placed around the facility’s 147-acre campus.

“A clinical nurse manager actually started the program,” said Phil Chiaramonte, co-chair of the Hines Organizational Health Committee. “She teamed up with patients to paint the first pallet. Then she brought it to the Patient-Centered Care Committee to take it campuswide.”