WVU Medicine has adopted a program to help healthcare professionals gain a better understanding of issues veterans face while being treated in civilian hospitals.

The Vet to Vet Prrogram, which was adopted in J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital in late 2016, matches healthcare providers who are veterans with veteran patients. The providers visit the patients, acknowledge their military service, offer support, and act as a liaison between the patient and their healthcare team.

At any one time, Ruby may have 35-40 veteran patients receiving care, many whom have combat experience. The volunteers visit veteran patients every Thursday and have connected with more than 40 men and women since the program started in November 2016.

The program was initiated by Gina Maiocco, PhD, RN, the head of nursing research in the WVU School of Nursing. Through her research on veterans seeking care in civilian hospitals, Dr. Maiocco has found that veteran patients are at a higher risk for PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), combative behaviors, addiction, and anesthesia delirium. 

To get involved in the program, contact Maiocco.