VA's Environmental Health Coordinators - Connecting You to registry exams and information
Are you interested in being a part of one of VA’s Environmental Health Registries but don’t know where to start? Do you want to learn about a specific environmental exposure from your military service and possible effects on your health? If the answer is yes to either of these questions, you may wish to contact an Environmental Health Coordinator near you.
“Environmental Health Coordinators are experts with VA’s registries,” said Shanna Smith, DrPH, MPH, CPH, a manager of VA’s Environmental Health Coordinator and Clinician Program within Health Outcomes Military Exposures. “They can connect you to the Environmental Health Registries that are designed for when you served and guide you to information that can help you to better understand your exposures and health.”
VA offers six Environmental Health Registries, including the Agent Orange Registry, VA’s largest registry. You do not need to be enrolled in VA health care to join. These registries provide free, voluntary medical assessments for Veterans who may have been exposed to certain environmental hazards during military service. They also help VA to better understand the health of Veterans.
The coordinators can help you schedule a convenient time for a registry exam with an environmental health clinician. Depending on where you live, you may have the option of having your exam completed through VA telehealth services, which is conducted via telephone instead of in person. If you have a telehealth exam and your health issues are considered complex, the clinician conducting your exam may ask you to come in for follow-up or tests in person.
A coordinator can also be a resource for you. They can help you find information about different military exposures and health, including the information on the www.publichealth.va.gov web site. Coordinators are trained to understand general military exposure topics. They have initial and continuing education trainings and attend bi-monthly meetings to stay on top of post-deployment health issues.
You can call an environmental health coordinator near you. VA offers a directory of coordinators who are located at VA medical centers across the country.