Important Veteran Newsletter, October 2022 Edition

Wilmington VA Medical Center Update
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PACT-Act Information 

Watch Now: Press Conference With VA Secretary Denis McDonough

If you missed Wednesday’s press conference, you can watch the full stream here. With several important updates on PACT Act implementation included, we encourage all Veterans to watch.

New PACT Act Benefits and Services for Gulf War era Veterans

On August 10, 2022, the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act—known as the PACT Act—was signed into law.

Named in honor of Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson, a decorated combat medic who died from a rare form of lung cancer, this historic legislation helps VA expand and extend health care and benefits eligibility to millions of Veterans who may have been impacted by toxic exposures while serving our country.

Certain Gulf War era Veterans may now be eligible for VA health care thanks to the 2022 PACT Act. Gulf War era Veterans are encouraged to enroll for VA health care beginning October 1, 2022.

To enroll, a Veteran must have served on active duty in a theater of combat operations during a period of war after the Persian Gulf War. This includes Veterans who, in connection with service during such a period, received one of the following:

  • Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
  • Service Specific Expeditionary Medal
  • Combat Era Specific Expeditionary Medal
  • Campaign Specific Medal
  • Any other combat theater award established by Federal statute or Executive Order

Four easy ways to apply for VA health care

  • Apply online at
  • Call VA’s toll-free hotline at 877-222-8387, Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 8:00 pm ET
  • Mail a completed, signed Application for Health Benefits (VA Form 10-10EZ)
  • Bring a completed, signed VA Form 10-10EZ with you to your nearest VA medical center or clinic or get help through your state’s Department of Veterans Service Officer

Additionally, The PACT Act empowers VA to deliver benefits to Veterans suffering from more than 20 toxic- exposure conditions. For more information and a complete list new presumptive conditions and presumptive exposure service locations, visit



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

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. 

Philips PAP Masks with Magnetic Closures Recalled

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced a recall of Philips Respironics Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP/Bi-PAP) masks with magnetic closures. The magnets in the recalled masks may affect certain metallic medical devices or metallic objects in the body, presenting a potential risk. Masks with magnets made by other companies are not included in the recall.

“We want to ensure that any Veteran using one of the Philips CPAP or Bi-PAP masks with magnetic closures does not have an implanted medical device that can be impacted by magnets,” said Dr. Charles Atwood, VHA acting national program director for Sleep Medicine. “This warning is extended to anyone in close proximity when the mask is in use, such as bed partners.”

Magnet closure concerns

The magnetic closures for these masks can cause implanted medical devices to malfunction if they are within six inches of implanted metallic medical devices. These implanted medical devices can include pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillators, neurostimulators, magnetic metallic implants/electrodes/valves (placed in upper limbs, torso, or higher), cerebral spinal fluid shunts (e.g., ventriculo peritoneal shunt), embolic coils, magnetic denture attachments, certain magnetic metallic implants and others. A list of devices that may be impacted is on the FDA website.

If you have a mask with magnets and are concerned about interference with implanted devices, the magnets can be removed, and the Velcro strap will fit through the empty magnet space. You can contact your care provider to order plastic replacement clips or a different mask.

The masks included in the recall are Amara View Full Face Mask, DreamWisp Nasal Mask, DreamWear Full Face Mask, Wisp and Wisp Youth Nasal Mask, and the Therapy Mask 3100 NC/SP. VA has a hold on distributing these masks until updated warning labels are added or care providers confirm that the Veteran does not have one of the implanted devices noted in the recall.

Veteran outreach

This issue impacts patients nationwide with an implanted device who wear Philips masks with a magnetic closure, including their partners and other loved ones who are within close proximity while the mask is in use. VA is working to contact patients who have been issued the affected Philips Respironics masks by a VA provider. 

If you have an implanted magnetic medical device and use a Philips Respironics CPAP or Bi-PAP mask with a magnet, contact your care team for a replacement. Veterans who have general issues or concerns can contact the Philips Customer Care Solutions Center at +1-800-345-6443.


COVID-19 Vaccine Updated Booster Shots 

  • VHA is now offering updated COVID-19 boosters to individuals 12 and over who have completed a COVID-19 vaccine primary series.
    • The updated booster protects against both the original virus that causes COVID-19 as well as the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants.
    • Individuals who have completed a primary series, including those who have received booster doses, and whose last shot was at least 2 months ago are eligible for the updated booster.
    • People 12-17 years old can only get the Pfizer-BioNTech updated booster.
    • People 18 years and older can get either a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna updated booster.


The Wilmington VAMC is offering updated COVID-19 boosters via walk-in on the 1st floor at the main medical center and by appointment at its community-based outpatient clinics.

  • COVID-19 vaccines are no cost. VA also provides free COVID-19 testing to eligible Veterans. 
  • It is safe to get both a flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine at the same appointment. 
  • Receiving an updated booster will ensure that you are up to date with COVID-19 vaccines. Staying up to date ensures that you have protection against severe illness and death from COVID-19. 
  • If you haven’t yet had your primary series, you should do it now.
    • After you have completed a primary series, you will be eligible for an updated booster 2 months after your last dose.

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. 


October 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


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.


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



The Wilmington VA Medical Center and Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) Outreach Specialist will be hosting a presentation on information regarding enrollment, eligibility, services and how to navigate through the VA.

Q & A and one-on-one time will be provided for all Veterans, their families, and caregivers in attendance. Please sign up with the front door greeter or email


Georgetown : Sussex County CBOC (Conference room), 21748 Roth Ave

Georgetown, DE 19947

Oct 12  10:00 – 11:00 am

Nov 2   10:00 – 11:00 am

Dec 7   10:00 – 11:00 am

Jan 11  10:00  – 11:00 am

Feb 1    10:00 – 11:00 am

Mar 1   10:00 – 11:00 am


Dover : Kent County CBOC (Conference room), 655 S Bat Rd Suite 3C

Dover, DE 19901

Oct 19  10:00 – 11:00 am

Nov 3   10:00 – 11:00 am

Dec 8   10:00 – 11:00 am

Jan 12  10:00  – 11:00 am

Feb 8    10:00 – 11:00 am

Mar 2   10:00 – 11:00 am

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

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.