Important Veteran Newsletter, September 2022 Edition

Wilmington VA Medical Center Update
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Special Virtual PACT-Act Veteran Town Hall 

Join us for leadership updates from the Wilmington VA Medical Center regarding the recent PACT-Act and how it affects our Veterans. You can join virtually by scanning the QR-code on the flyer or from your home computer or calling in from your home. Registration is not required, however you can email to receive an electronic invitation.

Join on your computer or mobile app Click here to join the meeting Meeting ID: 229 682 571 152 Passcode: 48yedT Download Teams | Join on the web Or call in (audio only) +1 872-701-0185,,933411289#   United States, Chicago Phone Conference ID: 933 411 289#

Special TH


Be Vigilant of PACT-Act Scams

On August 10, President Biden signed the PACT Act into law. This bill will help millions of Veterans and their survivors by:

  • Extending VA health care eligibility for Veterans with toxic exposures and Veterans of the Vietnam, Gulf War, and Post-9/11 (Post-September 11, 2001) eras
  • Expanding benefits eligibility for Veterans exposed to toxic substances and their survivors

How to Apply for PACT Act Benefits

We want Veterans and survivors to apply now for their PACT Act-related benefits. You can learn more and sign up at, or call us at 1-800-MyVA411 (1-800-698-2411).

If you need help applying for benefits, VA, accredited representatives, and Veteran Service Officers are always standing by and ready to help. There’s no cost for the forms, no fees to apply, and VA will never charge Veterans for processing a claim.

Tips to Avoid PACT Act Scams

Scammers are taking advantage of new opportunities to commit fraud. There’s been an increase in PACT Act-related phishing (email), vishing (phone), and social media scams targeting Veterans to access their PACT Act benefits or submit claims on their behalf.

Veterans should be cautious of anyone who guarantees a lucrative financial benefit or service. To report suspected fraudulent activity, please contact at or call (800) 488-8244.

Protect yourself against new scams with these tips:

  • Do not provide personal, benefits, medical, or financial details online or over the phone. Federal agencies will not contact you unless you make a request.
  • Do not click on online ads or engage with social media that seem suspicious.
  • Check for “https://” at the start of website addresses.
  • Enable multi-factor authentication on all accounts.
  • Work with Veteran service providers you already know.
  • Submit any suspected fraud to

Visit the Cybercrime Support Network for additional resources to help Veterans, service members, and their families combat cybercrime. 

Patient Check-In

Checking into your next appointment at VA will be different. You’ll have two options: check in with a staff member or mobile check-in. With mobile check-in, you can confirm your contact info, emergency contact, & next-of-kin from your smartphone. Look for the mobile check-in poster in the check-in area to learn more. Primary Care will started Monday August 8th, and other services will be live in the near future. 


Traveling Veterans

Are you getting ready to travel? Did you notify your local VA Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT)? Preferably you would notify them 4 to 6 weeks prior to departure, or as soon as you are aware. Early planning will allow time for your local PACT and the Traveling Veteran Coordinator to coordinate your care at the alternate VA health care facility should you need it. If you are unable to make an appointment to see your PACT or provider in person, you may reach them by telephone or through secure messaging in MyHealtheVet ( ).

To coordinate your health care with another VA health care facility, you should inform your PACT of the following:

  • travel destination(s), and temporary address
  • a valid telephone number
  • arrival and departure dates
  • specific care concerns

Your PACT will contact the Traveling Veteran Coordinator, who will assist in coordinating your care at the alternate VA health care facility.

VA launches updated Access to Care website

VA recently launched an improved Access to Care website. The site offers updated information and a user-friendly, streamlined search process that will make it easier for Veterans to plan their health care visits.

In addition, the website includes more of what Veterans told us matters to them beyond average wait times, such as Veteran satisfaction and experience information. They will also be able to view data for expanded mental health care services and specialties, including Individual and Group Therapy, General Mental Health, Substance Use Disorder programs, Primary Care-Mental Health Integrated Care, and PTSD Specific programs.

VA is planning to include additional specialty care services and more site improvements on Access to Care in the near future.

VA Health Chat 

If you have a non-urgent health care question, VA Health Chat can quickly connect you with a VISN 4 Clinical Contact Center nurse. Chat is available 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET Monday through Friday except holidays. Learn more at


Tele Urgent Care

Tele Urgent Care/Tele ED is operating 7a-11p/365 days/year; 1-833-TELE-URGENT or press 3 on the phone tree to be connected to an RN to request Tele Urgent Care!


Clinical Contact Center

If you need to schedule, cancel or reschedule a primary care or specialty care appointment, call 800-461-8262 and press 2. Our friendly medical support assistants are available 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET Monday-Friday including weekends and holidays to assist you.


September Nutrition Classes

Anti-inflammatory Class - 2nd & 4th Wednesdays @ 11 am  - diet overview for pain, mood, high blood pressure and general healthful eating
Basic Nutrition for Diabetes Class - 1st & 3rd Wednesdays @ 11 am
Carbohydrate Counting for Diabetes Class - 3rd Wednesday @ 2pm
Diabetes support Class -  Every Thursday  @ 1pm - open enrollment

Please call 302-994-2511 x1810 to schedule           
Healthy Teaching Kitchen: Video Series

Travel Pay

Eligible for travel pay? A My HealtheVet Premium account grants access to the BTSSS travel pay system, Secure Messaging with your care provider, and online appointment scheduling. Upgrade to a Premium Account to use a single username and password.

Combining electronic filing with direct deposit is the fastest way to get your beneficiary travel payment. While you may still file a paper claim or receive a paper check, paper methods will take longer for staff to process. Here’s how to speed up your claims processing:

1. Sign up for Direct Deposit.

2. Add your banking information to your Beneficiary Travel Self-Service System (BTSSS) profile.

3. File a travel claim electronically with BTSS


COVID-19 and Masks

Attention Veterans and Visitors! COVID-19 continues to decline throughout our region, but Masks are still required at all VA and healthcare facilities regardless of vaccination status for the safety of our patients and staff. Thank you for understanding as we remain vigilant.


Gun Safety

More than two-thirds of Veteran suicides involve a gun. Protect yourself and your loved ones by storing your guns securely – locked, unloaded, and away from ammunition. Learn more about safe gun storage practices at (2545) Service Never Stops – Veterans Anthem | End Family Fire | Gun Safety - YouTube

Gun Safety

Suicide Prevention Month

September is Suicide Prevention Month, and we want Veterans to know that you don’t have to solve life’s challenges alone. Day-to-day issues with finances, jobs, housing and relationships can be stressful, and it’s important to get help before your problems feel overwhelming.

Don’t wait. Reach out. If you or a Veteran you know needs support, visit

Suicide is preventable, and we all have a role to play. Help us spread the word with the “Don’t Wait. Reach Out.” campaign toolkit here.

Sept Suicide

Veteran Brings Home Gold from National Competition


Wilmington, Del. – Crystal Young-Terrell, a Volunteer at Wilmington VA Medical Center, suffered from injuries while serving in the Army and continues to inspire through competition.

Adversity hasn’t slowed her competitive spirit. Terrell said she surprised herself when attending the 2022 National Veterans Wheelchair Games because in 2021 due to the COVID-19 all training leading to the event was held virtually.

“At the games I tried adaptive fitness, and I didn’t realize I had to bench-press first,” Terrell said while laughing. “I was like look guys, I haven’t bench-pressed since I was in high school when I was running track and field, but I started out real slow and managed to lift 65lbs.”

Terrell brought home five medals (three gold, one silver and one bronze) during the weeklong competition held July 7 through 12. The list of events included hand-cycling, shot put, discus, bowling and javelin.

“I’m not competitive against others, I can pretend but it’s all in fun, Terrell said “to tell you the truth I didn’t care about winning the medals, it was more about learning where I was physically.” Terrell shared attending the competition is more about being inspired by other Veterans and looking at how far she has come.

“It feels like we’re family out there, always cheering each other on no matter what. Even if you’re my competition, I’m still going to cheer you on.”

Even though the National Veterans Wheelchair Games are the world’s largest annual wheelchair sports event solely for Military Veterans, there are still very few females who compete. Terrell uses each opportunity at the games to show females they too can compete.

“I just want to say, no matter what injuries you have, no matter your situation, you can do this! Sometimes this helps us mentally because we see ourselves as lessor because of our injuries or not being worthy. We are worthy, and we can do this.”

It is her hope that more females will join in the years ahead. She feels that once they find out they can do it, they might learn how much more they are capable of.

“We limit ourselves only because we choose to and I believe if we just try, we will excel at something we love, and you take that back with you because it empowers you to keep going,” said Terrell.

Terrell was approached by her physical therapist in 2014 who suggested she give it a try. To her surprise, she attended the games in 2014 without training and enjoyed the competition.

“I felt free that first time I found out I could actually ride a bike that is built for me. It made me free… not the turtle going slow – I could do this,” said Terrell.

When Terrell interacts with other Veterans at the Medical Center, she often asks them about their athletic history and what they are passionate about to see if there is interest in participating in the games. She shares her story to help raise awareness of the program, stating “just because you’re in a wheelchair doesn’t mean you can’t compete.” 

For the games, athletes come from nearly every generation of veterans, from World War II to the most recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. From newly injured first-time competitors to Paralympic athletes, each veteran brings his or her own unique story of recovery through strength and perseverance.

It’s like a family, with all the volunteers, caregivers, the athletes there.

Terrell is sincere in thanking her coaches, competitors and supporters that continuously encourage her and have a positive mindset. “It’s been one of the best experiences for me, and plus I get to travel to places I haven’t been before to experience different cultures and mingling with other people while sometimes meeting celebrities,” Terrell said with a grin. Every year there are also exhibition games for the Veterans to try out to see if they like them, and this year curling was one of the sports offered.

“I realized I could do that,” Terrell said. “My upper body is strong enough that I can send that sucker down the ice, and I like the physical sports so anything that requires me to be more physical I just fall in love with.”

Terrell's smile lit up the room when talking about how all the positive energy around these competitions makes her eager to go on to the next one.

“Just be you and find something you like to do and maybe you will inspire someone else, it doesn’t matter what our limits are it only matters in our mind that we can do it. Practice makes perfect, but you have to be willing the put in the work.”

The Wheelchair Games is open to all U.S. Veterans with spinal cord injuries, amputations, multiple sclerosis, or other central neurological conditions who require a wheelchair for athletic competition. Every year, hundreds of American heroes from World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and the post-9/11 era compete in this celebration of courage and camaraderie.

For more information on the games visit,


Vet Fest - Middletown, DE

The mission of Vet Fest is to provide an uplifting and educational day, bringing the military and civilian communities together to benefit our active duty and military families. This includes providing peer-to-peer networking, outreach from mental health groups, a showcase for military pride, and a display of gratitude. It also serves as a fundraising event for Stop Soldier SuicideVet Fest | The Town of Whitehall (

vet fest

Work For VA

Make the Difference. Learn about VA Careers by visiting: 

Interested in working for the Wilmington VA Medical Center? See open job opportunities: USAJOBS - Search WVAMC

Veteran Stand-down

Serving Homeless and At-Risk Veterans

Services include VA Medical, Mental Health, Benefits, Claims, Housing, Employment, Clothing, Products and More!

For more information contact 302-349-4898 or

Stand down

If you have a Community event for Veterans and would like to be listed here, please email  

Stay Informed, Follow Our Social Media Channels

Follow Wilmington VA Medical Center on our social media channels @WilmingtonVAMC on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

Visit our new website at

Service members and veterans experiencing a mental health emergency can contact the Veteran Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and select option 1 for a VA staffer. Veterans, troops or their family members can also text 838255 or visit for assistance.