Archive for Smart Tips by Dr. Sneden

New location of Dr. Sneden “Notes”

Since our newsletter is now available in a printable, color version with a mass-emailed link, the newest “Smart Tips by Dr. Sneden” can now be found inside newsletters as “Message from Dr. Sneden” at the “Chapter Newsletters” sidebar topic.

VA Flu Shot Clinics

The Watertown VA Outpatient Clinic will be holding flu shot clinics Thursday September 25th and Thursday October 23th from 8:30AM to 3:30PM. No appointments are necessary. This clinic is available to all enrolled VA patients and no co-payments are required. For more information or questions call the Watertown VA Outpatient Clinic at 884-2420

Med Price & Prescription Changes

We have recently received some complaints from Veterans that  their medications previously available at a discount at local pharmacies have  increased in price.  After some research, we have become aware that a  significant amount of medications have been removed from discount lists.   We will work with Veterans to get these medications switched to VA supplies for  cost savings.  Also, effective January 1, 2014, I will no longer be  providing prescriptions to be filled outside of the pharmacy at VA.  This will include both local pharmacies and mail in prescription  companies.

John Sneden, MD

Watertown CBOC

Medical Equipment

We have received a recent flood of requests for medical equipment to be supplied by private companies.  These companies solicit business from Medicare patients and, in turn, try to get physicians to sign orders for medical equipment that may or may not be necessary.  The requests have been for a variety of products ranging from back braces to power  scooters.  It has always been the policy here in Watertown not to fulfill  such requests outside of VA services.  If patients feel there is a personal  need for medical equipment, they should make an appointment to discuss this with their provider.  We in Watertown will then submit requests within the VA.   We appreciate your understanding regarding this policy.

John P. Sneden, MD

Watertown VA Clinic

My HealthVet

My HealthVet ( is your online access to your personal health record with the VA. Available anywhere there is internet access, My HealthVet is for veterans, active duty service members, their dependents and caregivers.

With MyHealthVet, you can access trusted and secure VA health information to better manage your overall health and wellness, and to put the power of prevention in your hands. For veterans, there are enhanced features and facts about VA benefits and services to which you may be entitled. After you register, there are enhanced features and health information, vital signs and so much more.

If you are a VA patient, take a few minutes to complete the one-time registration process during your next visit. To learn more, check out

John P. Sneden, MD
Watertown VA COBC

Education at the VA

Once again, the Watertown CBOC will be hosting students from Lake Area in the nursing program.  The nursing students will be rotating through over the next two months and will participate in lab draws and rooming patients for doctor  visits.  Please help us make them feel welcome as they gain valuable clinical skills.  Also, we continue to host Internal Medicine Residents from Sioux Falls doing a rural health, ambulatory care rotation here in Watertown.  This four week rotation provides excellent exposure of day-to-day operations in a primary care clinic and an opportunity for me to educate and be educated.  Next month, we will also host a physician assistant resident as well.  As a side note, I appreciated the opportunity to attend the Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Ceremony here in Watertown.  A moving celebration that was well overdue.  Congratulations from all of us at the clinic in Watertown.

John  P. Sneden, MD

Watertown  VA CBOC

More Numbers

Recently, the clinic has added a calculation of the body mass  index (BMI) to the vital signs displayed for patients during their clinic  visit.  The BMI is a calculation of weight status which is based upon  weight and height.  Patient will notice this number being displayed on  reports that they receive during their appointment.  Also, patient may be  asked about their diet and amount of exercise performed to coincide with an  elevated BMI.  It is hoped that by raising awareness of weight, obesity,  poor diet and the lack of exercise advances in good health can be  achieved.  We continue to offer assistance with weight loss with dieticians  through Sioux Falls and the MOVE program.  Feel free to stop by or call to  request an appointment to discuss weight loss options.

John Sneden, MD

Sea of Goodwill

I have been asked to join the Advisory Committee for the local
Sea of Goodwill. This organization pursues the needs of our
veterans by trying to match the donor organizations with the
needs of our veterans. The program is managed with the
Watertown Police Department with the assistance of funding
through the Watertown Community Foundation.
This is an excellent program to catch veterans in crisis in need
of immediate assistance. I will function mostly to provide input
on services available through the Veterans Health Administration,
as well as medical concerns from other organizations.
It is hoped that by expanding the safety net of veterans in crisis,
we can effectively serve those in most need. Through our strong
community support, we can make a difference for all of our
veterans and returning service men and women.

John F. Sneden, MD
Watertown VA Clinic

Don’t spread the bugs!!!

Flu shots & more!