STATEWIDE – A Department of Veterans Affairs program is ensuring veterans in all corners of the state have access to quality health care — right from the comfort of their own homes.
With telehealth programs like VA Video Connect, veterans can monitor their health conditions, receive education and access their health care providers — all through a smart device without having to travel to the VA, Facility Telehealth Coordinator Michele O’Connor said.
“If we have a veteran that lives here but travels to Florida for the winter, they can keep their same mental health provider. They’re not having to shuffle between providers to tell their story over and over again. If we have someone who lives in Caribou but they need to go to Boston or they need to come down to Togus, it’s not for every visit but for the most part we can usually make it happen,” O’Connor said.
Veterans who do not have smart devices or laptops aren’t left out.
The VA offers free iPads with cellular data capabilities so they can be part of telehealth programs and receive health care remotely.
“They are very, very simple to use, they have all of our other apps on it besides that like my healthy vet, there’s a move coach which is a weight loss program so the iPads are great not just for VA Video Connect but also to use for other modalities that we have to help with their whole health,” O’Connor said.
She said VA Video Connect is especially helpful for veterans in rural areas.
“It’s for our veteran who doesn’t have transportation, it just really allows us to see the veterans when they really need to be seen. Its all about access, in the end, it’s all about access and quality of care,” O’Connor said.