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February 25, 2020

3/25/2016 7:29:00 AM
Northwoods' veterans can receive care from Ministry clinicians through the Veterans Choice Program

Ministry Health Care, part of Ascension Wisconsin, has announced it will be participating in the first wave of a nationwide effort by Ascension to provide care through the Veterans Choice Program, giving veterans the choice to receive care at all Ministry Health Care locations throughout the Northwoods.

"As part of Ascension, the nation's largest non-profit health care system and the world's largest Catholic health system, Ministry joins 23 other states and the District of Columbia in sustaining and improving the health of individuals and our communities by serving as an official provider of Veteran Care outside the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)," the health care system said in a press release.

"Now, qualified U.S. veterans who face wait times in excess of 30 days at the VA or have to travel farther than 40 miles from their home can receive care from Ministry Health Care hospitals and clinics at 13 sites of care in northern Wisconsin."

"As part of the largest nonprofit health system in the country, we saw an opportunity to help America's veterans gain better access to healthcare," stated Shishir Sheth, MD, Regional Vice President of Ministry Medical Group. "Our Mission calls on us to deliver high-quality, compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons in poverty and those most vulnerable. Our country's veterans deserve that compassion, and we are eager to serve them as they have sacrificed and served us so well."

The Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 established funding to pay for health care services provided to veterans by private health care providers. Through the partnership, Ministry Health Care physicians and other caregivers are authorized to provide primary care, inpatient and outpatient specialty care, and mental health care for eligible veterans outside of VA, the release states.

Ministry's northern region facilities chosen to launch this initiative include: Ministry Saint Mary's Hospital, Rhinelander; Ministry Sacred Heart Hospital, Tomahawk; Ministry Eagle River Memorial Hospital, Eagle River and Howard Young Medical Center, Woodruff, as well as Ministry Medical Group Clinic locations in Crandon, Eagle River, Laona, Rhinelander, Tomahawk, Woodruff, Owen, Thorpe and Stanley. Additional work is underway to expand this program to other Ministry locations.

Veterans can determine eligibility for the Veterans Choice Program at or by calling the number on their Choice Card, 866.606.8198. They can also contact the Ascension National Veterans Call Center at 844.623.3003, for more information about Ascension and the care provided or for assistance scheduling an appointment with a local Ascension provider who is participating in the Veterans Choice Program.

U.S. veterans, Ministry Health Care patients and caregivers who are interested in learning more about the Veterans Choice Program are encouraged to visit

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