West Palm Beach VA Medical Center
Description of the Service:
The West Palm Beach VA Medical Center's (VAMC) Blind Rehabilitation Center (BRC) includes inpatient and outpatient blind rehabilitation training, low vision optometry service and counseling for Veterans and Service members who are visually impaired residing within the West Palm Beach, Florida local catchment area and throughout VISN 8. The program is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities*.
Referrals are received from the Visual Impairment Service Team (VIST) Coordinator, who is responsible for identifying and screening Veterans with visual impairments. The VIST Coordinator is a case manager who has major responsibility for the coordination of all services to Veterans who are visually impaired and their families. By coordinating VA resources with community services, Veterans and their families can be helped to adjust with blindness or vision loss. The West Palm Beach VA Medical Center's VIST Coordinator, John Getz, may be contacted by phone at 561-422-8645 or via email at John.Getz@va.gov.
The goal of the West Palm Beach VAMC's BRC is to address the expressed needs of Veterans who are visually impaired so they may successfully reintegrate back into their community.
We are committed to:
- Individualized, quality care that exceed Veterans expectations
- Easy access to a healthy and safe environment of care
- Developing and implementing a comprehensive, individualized treatment plan in collaboration with your family
- Respecting patient privacy and confidentiality
Prior to admission, all Veterans receive complete and timely information concerning their application status, admission date, patient rights, family involvement and the services being provided by BRC staff. The length of stay at the center is determined by individual goals, needs, strengths and expectations. Each veteran is assigned a Team Coordinator who acts as the primary "go to" person for the length of their program to ensure your goals and needs are being met.The families participate in the Veteran’s care planning and towards the end of their program they are invited to participate in a family program. This is a 1-2 day program set aside for the Veteran’s family and/or significant other to go through the BRC student’s scheduled classes, meet instructors and simulate the training that their loved one has received.
To facilitate transition to their home community all Veterans discharged from the program are referred back to their VIST Coordinator for follow-up care. The main skill areas of the thirteen (13) bed inpatient Blind Rehabilitation Center program are: Living Skills (Communications & Activities of Daily Living), Visual Skills, Manual Skills, Orientation and Mobility, Computer Access Training and “Other” programs (iPhone/iPad/GPS & Orcam training).
- Wait times for admission to the Blind Rehabilitation Center program are averaging 44.25 days.
- 91.67 percent of the Veterans approved for inpatient BRC received an admission date in less than 60 days.
- 100 percent of the Veterans surveyed reported to be either satisfied or highly satisfied with the Services provided.
In addition to the Blind Rehabilitation Specialists, the West Palm Beach VAMC's BRC team is comprised of a Nurse Practitioner, Social Worker, Registered Dietician, Recreation Therapist, Psychologist, Pharmacist, Low Vision Optometrist and Nursing Staff.
Outpatient Blind Rehabilitation and Low Vision Services:
The goals of the Blind Rehabilitation Outpatient and Low Vision programs are:
- To provide Veterans who have visual impairments with the skills and techniques necessary to improve his/her quality of life by coordinating VA resources with community services;
- To provide recommendations for adaptive equipment and outpatient blind rehabilitation training; and
- To provide support and counseling, to assist Veterans who have visual impairments to develop skills that aid in increasing his/her overall independence and life satisfaction.
Español: Cualquier Veterano elegible o miembro del servicio militar quien es legalmente ciego o tiene una pérdida grave de visión funcional puede recibir entrenamiento en El Centro de Rehabilitación Ciegos o impedidos visuales. El objetivo del Centro de Rehabilitación es trabajar en cubrir todas las necesidades y metas de nuestros Veteranos impedidos visuales para que puedan reintegrarse exitosamente a la comunidad.
Para obtener más información, por favor póngase en contacto con Gabino Lares, Coordinador del programa: (561) 422-6436, Gabino.Lares@va.gov.
How Can a Veteran with Poor Vision Find Help?
The best way for a veteran who is visually impaired to get help is to contact a VIST coordinator. The VIST coordinator will help a visually impaired veteran obtain all of the services he or she may need. They will help educate the veteran and provide any needed applications for services. Contact the West Palm Beach VAMC's BRC at (561)-422-8426 to find out where the closest VIST coordinator is in your area.
For a list of VIST coordinators by state, as well as information about other programs for veterans with impaired vision, visit the VA's National Blind Rehabilitation Website: https://www.rehab.va.gov/blindrehab/. The Blinded Veterans' Association is another excellent source of information and assistance. They can also direct you to a VIST coordinator. The BVA's phone number is (800) 669-7079.
*The Blind Rehabilitation Program is a CARF accredited facility. CARF is an International, independent, nonprofit, organization that accredits human service providers.
West Palm Beach VAMC
Hours of Operation
7:30 am - 4:00 pm
Monday - Friday