Stanford Hospital launches program honoring veterans

Memorial Day marks debut for Stanford Hospital & Clinics' red, white and blue wristbands

Hospital patients are used to wearing identifying wristbands, but starting Memorial Day, Stanford Hospital & Clinics patients who have served in the military will also receive a band of another kind -- one honoring their service to the country.

The red, white and blue wristbands are inscribed with the words, "Stanford Hospital & Clinics Honors U.S. Military Veterans." Hospital employees who have served will also receive the wrist wear.

Greg Hoovler, a nurse in Stanford's Cath Angio Recovery Unit, conceived of the idea last Veteran's Day. It struck him that the hospital had no way of honoring patients and employees who had served in the U.S. military.

"It also occurred to me that instead of recognizing these men and women for their sacrifices just one day a year, why not make this a daily practice?" he stated in a press release.

"As a nurse, I often ask patients about their service and personally thank them," he added. "I find that for many, they are grateful that we ask and proud when they have an opportunity to talk about their military service. For our older veterans, this dialogue is often very therapeutic and creates a bond with the caregiver. This communication enriches the hospital experience for both caregiver and patient."

Nancy Lee, chief nursing officer and vice president of Patient Care Services, called the patriotic keepsake "one small way in which we can thank veterans for their service and sacrifice."

"We hope the wristband will encourage conversations between patients and caregivers. It's important that we honor and thank veterans for all they have done for our country," Lee said.

— Palo Alto Weekly staff


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Posted by Thanks-For-Being-There
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 27, 2012 at 11:21 am

This is a nice idea, but with the VA Hospital so close why not set up a video link to allow folks in the two hospitals to "interface"?

For patients who are ambulatory, why not a shuttle to allow visits between veterans in these two hospitals?

And since this is Memorial Day Weekend .. a tip-of-the-hat to everyone who served.

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Posted by Jan
a resident of Downtown North
on May 27, 2012 at 1:56 pm

A very novel and appropriate idea. Hopefully, it will spread to the other neighboring hospitals in our area.

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Posted by Veteran
a resident of Greater Miranda
on May 27, 2012 at 10:13 pm

I am a Irag and Afghan war veteran who receives on-going medical care at Stanford. What I'd really like to see is the hospital stop shaking me down for money through by Tricare insurance due to billing statements that constantly reveal errors and incompetence or worse, a deliberate attempt to squeeze money out of patients. It's gotten to the point where I have to constantly make phone calls and write letters to patient services.

They can keep the wristbands.

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Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on May 28, 2012 at 9:37 am

Veteran -- SO sorry you have experienced this.

I'll bet your medical services are getting coded to "maximize profits." With a myriad of possible billing codes for each procedure (all with different insurance coverage) it could either be an error --- or intentional.

Re-check your insurance coverage, and also call them to see if coding is the issue. Ask which other codes exist for the over-billed procedures.

Unfortunately, bill-padding via coding has become pervasive among medical providers. It happens at certain other area medical centers too.

Manipulating codes to bypass insurance reimbursements is stealing -- and the theft preys on the injured, sick, and elderly.

Notify your Congressperson.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on May 29, 2012 at 11:47 am

I don't get it. Most if not all veterans are registered at the VA hospital if they are not they are missing out on some excellent free medical attention.

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Posted by Veteran
a resident of Greater Miranda
on May 29, 2012 at 2:15 pm

900,000 backlogged cases at the VA. It's an abomination and national shame after 11 years of warfare fought mostly by the same troops. Get a ticket, wait in line. The only people with VA benefits these days are the ones working for the VA. Less than 50% rating requires a copay. With Tricare, at least you get seen right away if you were retired on the permanent or temporary disabled retirement list. VA care is hit and miss. It would be cheaper to get rid of the VA and give every veteran health insurance.

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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 29, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I am a disabled Vietnam Veteran and I receive all of my medical care at the Palo Alto VA - it is the BEST quality of health care that I have received anywhere!

But as Veteran points out getting into the VA system has become very difficult:

Web Link

"All of this adds up to more disability claims, which for years have been coming in faster than the government can handle them. The average wait to get a new one processed grows longer each month and is now about eight months – time that a frustrated, injured veteran might spend with no income.

More than 560,000 veterans from all wars currently have claims that are backlogged – older than 125 days.

Of those who have sought VA care:

_More than 1,600 of them lost a limb; many others lost fingers or toes.

_At least 156 are blind, and thousands of others have impaired vision.

_More than 177,000 have hearing loss, and more than 350,000 report tinnitus – noise or ringing in the ears.

_Thousands are disfigured, as many as 200 of them so badly that they may need face transplants. One-quarter of battlefield injuries requiring evacuation included wounds to the face or jaw, one study found.

"The numbers are pretty staggering," said Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, a surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston who has done four face transplants on non-military patients and expects to start doing them soon on veterans.

Others have invisible wounds. More than 400,000 of these new veterans have been treated by the VA for a mental health problem, most commonly, PTSD."

We owe those who have served much better than this.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on May 30, 2012 at 2:43 pm

My partner is a WWII vet, he gets excellent and immediate medical attention at the VA hospital. Even when he's had an emergency the paramedics were able to take him straight to the VA hospital. Meanwhile, I have to wait weeks for an appointment with a gyn at a local healthcare facility even though I have health insurance.

If you're a vet register at the vet's hospital, try it you'll like it.

1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 31, 2012 at 8:26 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Veteran - As a fellow combat veteran and the former Executive Director of the Stanford University Medical Center I have brought your complaint to the attention of the leadership at the Stanford Hospital. They assure me that they will investigate it very carefully. Would you please contact David Haray ( Vice President – Patient Financial Services 650-498-2752.

If you do not receive a satisfactory response please contact me at and also post your concerns here.

Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 5, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Veteran- The Stanford Hospital has not yet heard from you. Feel free to contact them as noted above or contact me and will serve as your intermediary.

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