Veterans battling COVID-19 across the nation benefitted when VA’s Employee Education System (EES) invested in VA becoming an approved provider organization.

Approved provider organizations are authorized by national accreditation institutions to award continuing education in various disciplines.

EES’ most recent accreditation in respiratory therapy from the American Association of Respiratory Care (AARC) offers invaluable and current training. Most hospitalized COVID-19 patients require oxygen therapy.

“Being an approved provider means we can offer our clinicians training at convenient times and locations that are cost-effective for an organization as large as ours,” EES Acting Chief Learning Officer Dr. Liz James said.

Insights on COVID evolving nature

“COVID in 20” are 20-minute accredited VA training discussions that emerged in March shortly after the pandemic began to provide clinicians with insights on the evolving nature of COVID. These discussions enabled VA clinicians to deliver life-saving treatment to Veterans despite a dearth of available information.

EES’ status as an approved provider made possible 48 accredited discussions with more than 800 VA providers across the nation.

EES extended its role as an approved provider to promote public health across the entire nation when it made those COVID in 20 discussions available to clinicians for free through its online educational portal TRAIN.

Dr. Graham McMahon, president and CEO, Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education: “I commend EES for its leadership in leveraging the power of accredited continuing education to improve care for Veterans and military families.”

Opportunities for more than 650,000 employees

EES regularly shares its vast body of accredited knowledge with myriad professional health organizations, local metropolitan emergency managers and training liaisons for fire, EMS, law enforcement and hospitals.

EES’ main responsibility is to coordinate learning opportunities for more than 650,000 employees that include pharmacists, social workers, psychologist, dietitians, occupational therapists, optometrists, physical therapists, physician assistants and respiratory therapists.

Associate Director for EES Accreditation, Jan Wong, said, “Accreditation allowed us to create our own roadmap to protect the health of the Veterans we serve during COVID. If this learning helps members of the community succeed in the same fight for public health, then that’s a good thing.”


Karen Eifert is an Employee Education System communications specialist.

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