Healthy Words

Military Health Care Benefits – WSMN Radio show on November 17, 2014

Posted by Yvonne Dunetz

19 Nov
Comments Off on Military Health Care Benefits – WSMN Radio show on November 17, 2014

Since November 11th was our countries tribute to our Veterans and those who continue to serve, I felt that our WSMN Radio Show: Healthy Words, Healthy Living, on November 17th should focus on providing information about health care benefits for the Military and their families.
Our Guests for the show were John Reed, Mike Rice, and Mary Behnke.

John, retired from the air force in 2010 after serving 28 years, 8 Years active duty with the Air Force and 20 years active duty with the NH Air National Guard. He is a Health Benefits Specialist for the State of NH and is employed by Martins Point. He is an advocate for military retirees on Health Care Benefits which include US Family Health Plan and Tri-Care Prime Military Health Plan.

Mike Rice is a retired Command SGT Major, from the NH Army National Guard. This is the highest enlisted position in the NH Army Guard. He has served 40 years in the Guard and is an enlisted representative to the senior leadership.

Mary Behnke, BSN, RN, has over twenty one years experience in nursing and since 2012 was appointed the Women Veterans Program Manager at the Manchester VA Medical Center.

Our discussion covered many topics related to healthcare for veterans and their families including:
What is Martins Point Healthcare?
How does Martins Point fit into the Tricare system?
How does the US Family Plan really work for its members?
Who qualifies for the US Family Plan?
Benefits for those who are going to be deployed, and benefits for their families.
The importance of health care professionals, and other care providers including Police, Fire, and Emergency Department Personnel, to ask the question if you are a Veteran and if you have served, and the Initiative to ASK THE QUESTION through out the state of New Hampshire.

We also spoke about “At the Veteran’s Request” and how in 2010 the VA established the Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation, to shift the attention to the Veteran Experience and provide exceptional health care that improves the Veteran’s health and well-being, with the intent of treating the whole person, not just the disease. We learned about what is being offered at the Manchester VAMC in their Integrative Health and Wellness Services. The 8 week MOVE program and the enhanced work with the Manchester Community College in their exercise physiology program. Additionally, the Manchester VA is rapidly increasing tele health services, which include MOVE, tele nutrition, and tele mental health. Their Pain Education Workshops are also evolving. Staff is looking at expanding current classes to include discussions of spirituality and complementary and alternative medicine. These programs and many others such as nutrition education, tobacco cessation and diabetic management, are available to Veterans through a referral from their PCP. Their Mental Health Teams also offer mindfulness classes, support groups for recovery and wellness, and a new group for Veteran mothers, “In the Service of Motherhood”. Spiritual and bereavement counseling are also available through their Chaplain Services.

On the first Saturday of every month, the VA offers a Wellness Clinic staffed by VA providers trained in Reiki, therapeutic massage and Healing Touch. The clinic is open to all Veterans, family members, friends of Veterans and facility employees in the PT Dept, 0900 – 1100.

Starting December 11, every Thursday from 1200 – 1 pm, Amelia Mckenney, who has been teaching Yoga for 25 years, and developed the chair yoga program at the Rye library, will be teaching yoga at the Manchester, NH VA. Both the Wellness Clinic and the Yoga classes are free of charge and do not require a referral or registration, Veterans can just present at the scheduled time.

In addition, the Women Veterans Program in Manchester is committed to current services, Maternity Care, Newborn Care, specialty GYN, and mammogram. They are dedicated to providing top notch care to their Women Veterans and their children.

To listen to the WSMN 1590 Yvonne Dunetz Radio Show and learn more about what is available for Veterans please go to and click on the WSMN 1590 Radio Show for November 17, 2014.

Youtube link: Service that await Veterans at Manchester VA Medical Center

Additional Resources For Veterans and their Families:

VA Choice Card: 1-866-606-8198
Crisis Line: 800-273-8255 press 1
Call Center: 800-892-8384 x 3199
WV Call Center 1-855-VA-Women (1-855-829-6636)
SOS Coordinator: 603-227-5130
State Veteran Cemetery: 603-796-2026
State Veteran Office: 603-624-9230
State Veteran Home: 603-527-4400
NHNG Chaplain: 603-337-1560
Family Program Director: 603-225-1215

To learn more about Military Retiree Health Benefits go to

Other Resources to explore:

Questions Regarding Martins Point Healthcare, TriCare, US Family Health Plan, Retiree Health Care Benefits, What you and your family are entitled to, and if you are deployed what you and your family are entitled to:
Call John Reed at: 603-430-5057

If you are not sure who to call, where to call to get what ever information you need call: 211

If you have reached out to someone, and they have not gotten back to you, continue to contact them until you receive the information that you have requested. Please do not give up. Keep trying.

A special thank you to my guests, John Reed, Michael Rice and Mary Behnke and to all those who have served and continue to serve our country.