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Beckley VA Medical Center starts new program centered around interviews

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BECKLEY W. VA. (WVVA) - The Beckley Veterans Affairs Medical Center recently started a program called "My Life, My Story" in which veterans are interviewed prior to treatment.

Sara Yoke, the Public Affairs Officer at the Beckley VAMC said it's a way to connect veterans to their doctors by allowing them to tell their stories.

"It honors their military career, but also sheds light on their overall life experience, which can connect them, their overall health status with their provider, and enhances that relationship."

The questions include things about their life experiences and what is important to them.

Toni Muncy, a D.O. and the Chief of Primary Care at the Beckley VAMC, said when veterans share their experiences, it allows the medical staff to better serve patients by building up their trust, and making them feel important; which, ultimately leads to more effective treatment.

"Once you know what a patient has experienced, and kind of what they've gone through, In that interview process you learn what is important to them," said Muncy. "So sometimes it allows you to reach them on a better medical level, because you tie it back with what their big picture is, what their goal for life is."

The program has been active in Beckley for about a month now, and Monte McKenzie was the first person to participate in the program there. He said he is thankful for the experience.

"[I'm] delighted to be part of this," said McKenzie. "I can't imagine having more concern, better medical assistance than I've had."

Muncy said despite the short time the program has been active, it has been well received among staff and patients alike.

"I think it's been a great success," said Muncy. "And we even, when we screen patients ask them 'what is important to you', 'what is your priority', so that we can tailor your care to you and I think the patients and staff have absolutely loved it."

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Maria Sellers

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