Arkansas Online

By Frank E. Lockwood

When a congressional panel was looking for examples of innovative VA hospital system projects, they highlighted an Arkansas project that encourages veterans to talk about emergency and end-of-life health-care planning.

Members of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee listened attentively Wednesday as Dr. Kimberly Garner of the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System described the program, started in Little Rock in October 2013.

Veterans gather and discuss the importance of planning ahead for key medical decisions rather than waiting until there's a crisis, she said.

So far, more than 1,300 people have participated in the group discussions that typically last from 30 minutes to an hour.

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