Catalina Island News

Long Beach VA Reaches out to Island Veterans

Catalina Island Medical Center

There are an estimated 135 veterans living on Catalina Island. In association with Catalina Island Medical Center, the Department of Veterans Affairs officials in Long Beach were invited to Avalon.

Richard Beam, Director of Public and Community Affairs for the Long Beach Veterans Administration brought a group of staff members including the Assistant Medical Director, the Clinical and Telehealth Program Manager, a Health Systems Specialist and a Non VA Care Manager to Avalon on October 27, 2016 to meet with island veterans.

Catalina Island Medical Center personnel Laura Orozco, LCSW, social worker Jenea Dominguez and consultant Dawn Sampson, LCSW were part of a panel to address the issues of medical care on the island.

24 veterans and family members attended the the community meeting to share their personal experiences and ask questions about primary medical care, telemedicine and other outpatient services veterans can take advantage of at CIMC. Additional details about new Telehealth Psychology appointments at CIMC, and how veterans can enroll for other VA covered medical care on the island is being finalized.

If you are a veteran who has never been seen by a VA provider, call the Long Beach VA (562) 626-8000 or any VA Hospital to make an appointment.  Veterans who are established in the VA health system can call: 866-606-8198 and tell the operator they are interested in enrollment in the TriWest CHOICE program. The TriWest CHOICE program will pre-approve veterans for care and services in Avalon rather than having to travel to the Long Beach VA facility.

A new patient wanting to enroll in the CHOICE program (to see a CIMC provider) must have been seen at any VA facility within the past two years. If the CHOICE program representative tells you that a referral from a VA doctor is needed, please tell them that you live on an island, which qualifies you geographically, as living more than 40-miles from the nearest VA facility. The CHOICE program will obtain authorization, call the Medical Group Office at CIMC arrange an appointment. You will receive a call back with the appointed day and time.

Island veterans can also call Jenea Dominguez at (310) 510-0096 to receive info and assistance. Catalina Island Medical Center is committed to provide quality health care to each individual and improve the overall health of our community.