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22 Navy | Fall/Winter 2017 conveniently access their medica- tions without having to drive into VA medical centers or wait for their medications. That's wonderful that that's been so successful. What is the plan for long-term care of our Veterans from earlier conflicts like Vietnam, Korea, and World War II? What are your priorities? e average age of the Vietnam Veteran now is about 67 years old. at's where we have a large bulk of our Veteran population – from the Vietnam conflict. As they get older and we look into the future, we do believe that there is going to be a greater need for long-term care and geriatric care, so we are certainly planning on that. But this is a demographic that is actually happening throughout the country as well – as birthrates go down, the population in general is getting older and senior health services are projected to be in greater demand. At the VA we are planning for that through a number of avenues. We have many VA Community Living Centers that are facilities that VA runs that are really high-quality living centers. We now use some- thing called the Greenhouse stan- dard when we build them, which are single rooms and community living spaces with fireplaces and kitchens and when I've had a chance to visit some of the ones that we've recently built, they are quite magnificent facilities. We support the states with about $80 million a year in grants to help match to help states that want to build additional nursing facilities. I've recently changed our regulations to allow states to build according to their regulations rather than according to the federal regulations so the states have more flexibility and can get more bang for their federal dollar and be able to build more facilities – if they wish to – rather than following the strict federal guidelines that we've put out in the past. But I think, most importantly, when I look at this, going into the future, it's my belief that no Veteran should have to leave their home for a facility if they do not want to. As I speak to many of my patients, and as I speak to many Veterans, I don't know too many who look forward to leaving their home to enter a nursing home. So what we are doing at VA is establishing what we call a "moon shot," which is our reach for a really important objective, and that objec- tive is that no Veteran should have to leave their home if they don't want to. So we're working to build a system of care that would support a Veteran in their home for as long as they possibly could remain in their home. And that is going to require a number of factors that, frankly, very few health systems of than the VA, can deliver upon. It is going to require supportive care givers, something the VA believes very strongly in and is currently supporting. It's going to require home-based care teams, like home-based primary care that VA is currently delivering and knows how to do very well. It's going to OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE PHOTO BY SHEALAH CRAIGHEAD Secretary Shulkin joined President Trump at the White House to make a major announcement on Telehealth.

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