Veterans Health Care: The latest on COVID-19 Delta variant, VA’s Annie text program, 3D printing for visually impaired Veterans & get fit with Gerofit

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Providing health care to America’s Veterans

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is home to America's largest integrated health care system, serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year. Join your fellow Veterans. Here are some of their stories.

What is the COVID-19 Delta variant?

What you need to know about the COVID-19 Delta variant 

The Delta variant is a mutation of the virus that causes COVID-19. This variant spreads more easily and more quickly than others. It already has had a severe impact in other countries, such as India. Over the past month, the Delta variant has rapidly spread and expanded in the U.S. It could soon become the dominant virus strain.

The good news is that the COVID-19 vaccines currently in use in the U.S. offer good protection against the COVID-19 variants we know most about. COVID-19 vaccines have shown excellent effectiveness in preventing hospitalizations and death. This includes the Delta strain. 

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couple using a tablet

Take charge of your health with Annie 

VA has a way for Veterans to take charge of their health, one text message at a time. The Annie program for Veterans sends you text messages with health information and reminders. You can sign up for the program’s medication reminders, weight management tips, stress management activities and more.

Thousands of Veterans have used Annie messages since VA launched the program in 2019. You can register for the program by following the instructions after you click the "Read More" tab below. You can also ask your VA health care team to register you.

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Blind Veteran test out a 3D tactile sample

3D tactile maps improve Veteran mobility

Imagine walking into a large room, eyes closed, using only a cane and your hands to navigate. The room includes a hallway, a set of stairs and a reception desk in the center of the floor. Everything is new and feels like an obstacle. For Veterans with blindness or low vision, this experience is a daily reality. 

Now, with 3D printing, VA clinicians are able to quickly print tactile maps to help Veterans develop new skills in mobility and orientation.

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fitness instructor leads an exercise class

Gerofit – Supervised exercise program for Veterans

Gerofit is a supervised exercise program that promotes health and wellness for Veterans. Participants have shown improved health, physical function and well-being. Gerofit is now open to all Veterans. 

To be eligible for the program, you must be enrolled in VA health care and your overall health should be stable and sufficient for you to participate without needing continuous assistance. Talk to your primary care provider about joining Gerofit.

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