Cooper University Health Care and Deborah Heart and Lung Center announced today that the two health systems have joined forces to launch HeroCare Connect, a new service to provide convenient and expedited access to quality specialty health care for local active duty military, retirees, veterans, and their families. Military patients who are referred for specialty care will be able to see a specialist within 24 to 48 hours.
HeroCare Connect will be a vital new medical link for active duty military stationed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst to supplement the outstanding primary, gynecologic, and pediatric care currently available on base. When active duty military and their family members need specialty care, HeroCare Connect will act as a concierge service to get them the care they need.
Cooper and Deborah will have specially trained staff to handle each military patient, from scheduling an appointment, to following up with results and reports, coordinating additional testing and care, and communicating with all the medical and military professionals who are involved with each patient. HeroCare Connect draws from the combined medical offerings of both Cooper and Deborah, which together provide care in more than 75 medical specialties in more than 100 conveniently located community medical offices.
HeroCare Connect will also provide much-needed medical care to veterans who access their primary care through the VA. To streamline and expedite access to specialized care, HeroCare Connect works with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Choice Program (VCP) to ensure that veterans are being treated in a timely fashion, close to home.
“HeroCare Connect is an essential service for the thousands of active duty military on base who can’t afford downtime for medical clearances when needed for a mission, or for the tens of thousands of veterans in the region who often face a long drive, lack of transportation, and a long wait time for an appointment for medical care,” said Joseph Chirichella, President and CEO, Deborah Heart and Lung Center. “Our proximity of less than one mile from the Joint Base made it a natural fit for us to custom tailor a program for the military to whom we all owe so much.”
Cooper’s President and CEO Adrienne Kirby, FACHE, PhD, agreed: “We are passionate about providing convenient access to health care services for military and veterans’ families at Cooper. Through HeroCare Connect, Cooper’s numerous specialists will be an invaluable and convenient health care resource for the heroes and their families who serve, or have served, our nation.”
Connecting with HeroCare Connect is as easy as 1, 2, 3. For active duty military, a first stop is on base at their primary care physician. With a referral in hand for a specialist or testing, a call to 1.866.9.HERO.CARE (1.866.942.7622) will connect them directly to the HeroCare Connect appointment center. For veterans in the Veterans Choice Program (VCP), the process is the same. If not in VCP, veterans can call the phone number directly.
- More than 44,000 Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and their families live and work at JBMDL (http://www.militaryinstallations.dod.mil)
- More than 60,000 military retirees live within a 50-mile radius of the base (http://www.militaryinstallations.dod.mil)
- More than 176,000 veterans live in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Mercer, Monmouth, and Ocean Counties (http://www.va.gov/vetdata/)
- Data from October 2016 details that more than 8,500 VA appointments in the New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Wilmington service area have wait times in excess of 30 days, including over 500 appointments scheduled out more than 120 days. (http://www.va.gov/health/access-audit.asp)
- HeroCare Connect from October 2016 to March 2017 has already scheduled nearly 600 appointments.
Wendy A. Marano
Cooper University Health Care
Deborah Heart and Lung Center
609.893.1200, ext. 5845