Operation Treat a Veteran 

is a free online training program for selected community health care providers in the TriWest Healthcare Alliance region who would like to receive referrals from the VA's Veterans Choice Program


A joint initiative between the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), Center for Deployment Psychology (CDP), PsychArmor Institute and TriWest Healthcare Alliance, Operation Treat a Veteran trains community health care providers to better understand the unique challenges that our nation’s Veterans and their families can face,  equipping them with the skills necessary to offer the best care possible.

THE PROGRAM

  • consists of 3 learning paths, with 4 levels of training, that allows heatlhcare providers to learn about Veteran and military culture and mental health care issues and treatment methods. This approach will  build confidence in providers' ability to treat Veteran patients, while earning free continuing education (CE) credit

  • includes the first ever full-length online training in evidence based treatments for the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Veterans

Each level of completion corresponds to a level of patient acuity. With the completion of each level, providers become eligible to receive referrals of Veterans who require primary or specialty care, or the treatment of PTSD, with either Cognitive Processing Therapy or Prolonged Exposure. 

The training is optional for all community based heatlhcare providers in TriWest Healthcare Alliance’s regions; however, the level of completion achieved will be at the discretion of the individual provider.

Providers will have access to optional free courses through PsychArmor for additional continuing education (CE) credit. The institute will also continually support health care providers through their "Helping You Help Veterans" Support Center; staffed by behavioral health professionals who are prepared to answer questions a provider may have with regards to service members and Veterans. Additionally, providers will have access to VA’s PTSD Consultation Program, staffed by experts from the National Center for PTSD, for ongoing consultation via phone or email.

LEARNING PATHS

  • Post-traumatic stress specialty referrals

  • Comorbid conditions affecting Veterans

  • Women’s health specialty referrals

TRAINING

Once a provider chooses a path they will begin with bronze level training, which consists of 1.5 hours of clinical content related to Veteran cultural awareness and navigating VA. When the bronze level is complete, providers will be able to receive referrals of green patients.

The silver level includes a clinical overview of the invisible wounds of war and also provides 1.5 hours of continuing education. When the silver level is complete, providers will be able to receive referrals of green and yellow patients.

At the gold level of training, the courses explore more detail and the provider can select a learning path’s in their desired area of emphasis. This consists of between 2.5 and 3.5 hours of content. When the gold level is complete, providers will be able to receive referrals of green, yellow and orange patients.

Platinum level training consists of evidence-based practices for the treatment of PTSD in Veterans. It is unique in that the platinum level training utilizes online self-study on the PsychArmor learning management platform, virtual classroom learning via the CDP platform, and one-on-one coaching through VA’s National Center for PTSD.

The Platinum level course offers full-length training in either cognitive processing or prolonged exposure therapy, which are 16 hours of clinical content each. Providers who complete this level will be able to receive referrals to treat red patients. These include the more complicated clinical referrals for Veteran patients with post-traumatic stress disorder.

After completing 16 hours of one of the evidence-based treatments, providers must complete 8 hours of synchronous learning from the CDP within 6 months of actively treating patients.

SCHEMATIC FOR PATIENT ACUITY CLASSIFICATION

“Green” patient:   The patient does not have a diagnosis of a mental disorder. If a diagnosis has been made in the past the patient has been treated successfully.  He or she might be seeking management or complementary treatment. The patient is functioning at a moderately high level and may have some change in deployment or service-related interpersonal, occupational, medical or life stressors, but is coping reasonably well. No concern for personal safety is noted.

“Yellow” patient: The patient is experiencing some symptoms which might be related to deployment or service-related interpersonal, occupational, medical or life stressors. Etiology may be unclear, but stressors typically exacerbate the symptoms and functional impairment. The patient may fit criteria for a diagnosis of a mental disorder other than PTSD. The patient is clinically stable with a reasonably straightforward presentation and no significant comorbid complexities. No concern for personal safety is noted.

“Orange” patient: The patient is experiencing significant symptoms of a mental disorder which affect his or her quality of life, in addition to functional impairment as a result of the symptoms. The patient might have sub-syndromal symptoms of posttraumatic stress, or symptoms specific to women's health issues (including the possibility of military sexual trauma).  The patient may be experiencing comorbid conditions, including substance use disorder, traumatic brain injury, depression, or anxiety disorders that might occur in addition to service or deployment-related trauma. The patient is usually clinically stable, although his or her stability will be continually assessed throughout treatment. Little or no concern for personal safety is noted.

“Red” patient: The patient is experiencing serious symptoms which fit the criteria for PTSD, in addition to the possibility of another mental disorder diagnosis. He or she is experiencing significant dysfunction. The patient might have comorbid or complex presentation, and may be clinically unstable. Possibility of concern for personal safety is noted.


interested in taking the course?

Visit TriWest online for information on how to become a network provider.