Tomah VA Medical Center
On behalf of all the employees and volunteers, we welcome you to the Tomah
VA Medical Center. Since our Medical Center opened in 1947, we have been
dedicated to providing high quality care and excellent customer service.
This tradition holds true today as we strive to improve the services we provide.
In our many years of service to the veteran and the community, a great number
of changes have taken place, but the cornerstone of “caring” remains today.
Whether this is your first visit to the Medical Center or whether you have been
here before, you may need help during your visit.
The purpose of this handbook is to assist you and make you feel more
comfortable during your visit. We hope that it will answer most of the questions
you, or your family, may have.
It includes many of the services we offer, but not all. If you have any questions,
please ask a staff member for help.
Jerald Molnar - Acting Medical Center Director
David Houlihan, M.D. – Chief of Staff
Trish Ten Haaf, R.N, Ph.D. – Associate Director for Patient Care Services
Toby Lane – Acting Associate Director
Table of Contents
Mission, Vision, Philosophy, and Values
Mission: The VA Great Lakes Healthcare System, Tomah, Wisconsin provides outpatient and hospital care for eligible veterans through patient-centered
primary care, rehabilitation, extended care, and a full continuum of mental health
services including tertiary care.
Vision: Our staff will enthusiastically provide high quality patient-centered care. Staff will feel pride in providing services that are courteous, timely, informative,
and responsive to the individual’s physical and emotional needs. We will
continue to be a center of excellence in the provision of long-term care, mental
health, and primary care services.
Philosophy: We are dedicated to fulfilling our mission and achieving our vision
using the fundamental principles of quality, customer satisfaction, access,
efficiency, and performance improvement.
? First and foremost, our patients
? Our staff: their skills, knowledge, and caring potential
? Patient and family involvement in healthcare decisions
? Dignity and individuality of our patients
? Safe and caring environment
? Excellence, continually improving what we do
? Teamwork, collaboration, and communication
Monday through Friday
Main Hospital Number…………………...........Local (608) 372-3971
Toll Free (800) 872-8662
Patient Representative/Patient Advocate………….Extension 66353
Suicide Prevention Coordinator……………………….Extension 67737
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline……………….1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Transition Patient Advocate (OEF/OIF)……………Extension 61287
Vocational Rehabilitation Services………………….Extension 61726
Tomah VA Medical Center
500 East Veterans Street
Tomah, WI 54660
Visiting hours are 10:00 am – 8:00 pm daily. Visitors are welcome unless your condition is such that this is not advisable, or your treatment program should not
be interrupted. Our Information Receptionist is located in the Admissions area of
Building 400, Room 1080.
On the units, visitors should stop at the nurses’ station and sign the visitors’ log.
Please let the staff know who they are there to visit. They will be directed to
either the patient’s room, or to a waiting room where the patient will be brought. Children are welcome, but must be supervised by an adult.
If your visitors bring smoking materials for you, give them to the unit nurse upon
Visiting in the patient care areas (dayrooms or when meals are being served) is
discouraged as it interferes with patient privacy.
Please receive prior approval to bring pets on the unit.
The outside doors to the buildings are locked at 10:00 pm. If you need to re-
enter a building after this time, go to the Admissions area in Building 400.
Allowances will be made for visits to seriously ill patients during other than
regular visiting hours.
Infection Control and Visitors
Please do not visit or bring your children if you or the child:
? has chicken pox, measles or shingles or has been around someone with
chicken pox or shingles in the past four weeks, even if you or your child
does not have the disease.
Please check with the nurse before visiting if you:
? have a rash.
? have a runny nose or cough.
? Visitors are advised to wash their hands prior to entering and after exiting
patient care areas.
Thank you for helping with Patient Safety!
Turn the telephone On and Off by pushing the switch to the left hand side of the
telephone UP (on) or DOWN (off).
? Local calls are free
? Dial 9 + local number
Toll Free Calls
? 800 or 888 calls are free
? Dial 9 + 1 then toll free number
? Family and friends can telephone you directly
? Dial (608) 372-3971 and enter your 5 digit extension
(located on your phone) when asked
Long Distance Calls
? All long distance call must be placed by using a calling card or by calling
Personal Calling Card
? Dial 9 and follow the instructions on the calling card
VA Canteen Card (Phone Card)
? Dial 9 and follow the instructions on the card
? You can purchase a calling card from the VA Canteen Retail Store located
on the first floor of Building 401
? AT&T………………Dial 9+1-800-225-5288
? MCI…………………Dial 9+1-800-265-5328
? SPRINT……………Dial 9+1-800-877-8000
Personal Electronic Devices
The following rules apply to all patients who are admitted to the Tomah VA.
Please keep in mind that staff have been asked to reinforce these rules.
Personal electronic devices include, but are not limited to:
? Cell phones
? Cell phones with cameras
? Two-way radios
? Personal pagers
? Recording devices of all kinds
? Wireless local area network-enabled personal digital assistants (PDA’s)
? Digital cameras
? Personal electronic gaming devices
? Other wireless communication devices
When you are admitted, you will be asked to sign a form acknowledging
when and where personal electronic devices may be used. In the case where a
person is not competent, their guardian will be informed about restrictions on
Personal electronic devices are generally permitted throughout the Tomah VA except when they may interfere with clinical activities or the rights of patients.
Some devices can interfere with equipment used at the hospital so they are not
allowed. If a visitor or patient wants to bring an electronic device into that area
of the hospital, the device must be turned off before entering.
There may be areas at the Tomah VA where there are special restrictions on the
possession/use of personal electronic devices. This may be due to patient safety
concerns or patient privacy. The use of these items may require modification of
the device to ensure safe use, such as
? Supervision while in use
? Limiting the use to designated areas
Patients and visitors should ask staff about specific rules that may apply to
The Tomah VA is not responsible for lost or stolen personal electronic items.
The use of personal electronic devices is not allowed during clinical activities,
unless required by that activity. There may also be other times during the day
when electronic devices should not be used. This is to ensure that you get the
most benefit from scheduled activities. If use of the device appears to be
interfering with your treatment or the treatment of those around you, limits on
the amount of time a device is used may be ordered by your treatment team.
Patients are expected to be courteous when using electronic devices.
? Talk quietly on cell phones
? If possible, go to an area where your conversation will not disturb
? Please keep your phone in vibrate or silent mode in clinical areas of
the facility. This is requested so others will not be disturbed
The privacy of patient information must always be maintained. Cell phones
and other electronic devices that contain cameras may not be used to take
pictures of patients, staff, or volunteers without first obtaining their permission.
You are responsible for the content of information that is stored on your personal
Patients that do not follow the rules may have use of their electronic devices restricted by their treatment team.
The use of personal computers on the unit depends on what unit you are
assigned to. Ask the Nurse/Nurse Manager about rules that may apply to your
Computers are available for patient use in the Library, Building 401, Room 1100
as well as in the Computer Lab, Building 403, Room 1350.
Smoking and Tobacco Use
Smoking is allowed only in designated smoking areas. Tobacco products are not
sold at the Tomah VA. A risk assessment may be required by your treatment
team to assure your provider that you can safely manage this activity. Please be aware that all smoking materials must be turned into your unit
nurse upon entering/returning to your unit.
If you are a veteran that uses tobacco and wish to get information about quitting,
please tell your provider.
Quitting Smoking Flyer on opposite page
http://vaww.vhaco.va.gov/phshcg/documents/VAP_10-84_P96190.pdf Note: Please insert in Local Contact Information section on flyer for booklet:
Contact your health care provider
Safety and Security
For everyone’s safety, all who are admitted to the Tomah VA for care must
consent to a personal search by a metal detector, and to the inspection of all
packages, luggage, and containers in their possession. The metal detector
cannot harm you. It will not affect pacemakers, hearing aids, or film.
Refusal of consent to search is basis for denial of admittance.
Restrictions/Inspections of Personal Possessions
1. The following items are not allowed on the Tomah VA grounds:
a) Firearms, ammunitions, knives, and other weapons
b) Narcotics and medications (except for patients who are on the self-
c) Personal tape recorders, electric table model radios (battery radios are
permitted on the units), record players, and television sets.
d) Use of cameras, including camera phones for the purposes of recording
images or voice.
2. Consuming or bringing alcoholic beverages of any kind on the Tomah VA
3. Borrowing/lending money or property to other patients or employees
4. Gifts or tips to employees
5. Gambling of any kind
6. Unnecessary loud noises and boisterous behavior
7. Abusive, profane, or obscene language
8. Damage, destruction, loss, barter, or sale of government property or property
belonging to other patients
9. Interference with the treatment or comfort of other patients
10. Smoking is not allowed anywhere but in approved smoking shelters or
outdoors. Smoking is not allowed in any area where the smoke may be
carried to the interior of a building. Patient smoking materials must be
turned into your unit nurse upon entering/returning to your unit
11. Oxygen and oxygen delivery equipment may not be taken into smoking
shelters. Oxygen is to be turned off when not in use
12. Gathering near main entrances in such a way that limits access or exit of the
When you are admitted, your personal possessions will be reviewed by nursing
staff or VA Police. Except for the Substance Abuse Treatment Program (SATP)
patients, or the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Program patients, all
clothing will be marked to make sure it returns to you after laundering. We will
provide a safekeeping service for a small number of personal items. We also