Washington DC VA Medical Center
Health Care Heroes: Prosthetics & Sensory Aids
The Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center Prosthetics & Sensory Aids Service Team provides comprehensive support to help Veterans live healthy and independent lives. The Prosthetics Team is responsible for procuring and providing Veterans with everything from eyeglasses and hearing aids to knee braces and home and automobile modifications.
“The team supports most every department in the medical center,” said Katrina Kearney, the Chief of Prosthetics.
Ms. Kearney joined the team in April at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. She hit the ground running and brought with her a cheerful sense of optimism and empathy that has helped propel the team forward.
“I’ve let the team know that my door is always open and we are sharing ideas on how to improve our services, and work through issues,” Kearney said. She regularly communicates with the team, providing them with updates. She also tries to include inspirational quotes.
She credits the pandemic with helping to bring the team closer together. “Oddly enough, the pandemic has helped us to bond.“ She explains how the team has had to work closely together, and depend on each other to fulfill their mission.
The team has even developed a new motto “DC Prosthetics is Committed to Excellence” and are working to improve their customer service and follow through. “You would be surprised how a simple phone call to a Veteran to give them an update, lets them know we value them and are working for them,” Kearney said.
As the medical center is using a phased approach to reintroduce face-to face- appointments, it is also on a journey to become a High Reliability Organization (HRO) led by teams like Prosthetics who are committed to improving their communication and services to Veterans.