Secretary's Center for Strategic Partnerships (SCSP)
VA opens new ATLAS site
September 22, 2020
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today, the joint opening with The American Legion and Philips North America of the newest Accessing Telehealth through Local Area Stations (ATLAS) site at American Legion Post 176 in Springfield.
ATLAS is part of VA’s Anywhere to Anywhere initiative which works to better serve almost 9 million Veterans — no matter where they are — who receive care through VA.
ATLAS sites provide Veterans with private appointment space to meet with VA providers through VA Video Connect, VA’s secure videoconferencing platform. They offer services that do not require hands-on exams, such as primary care, nutrition, mental health counseling and social work. Establishing these points of care closer to Veterans’ homes, ATLAS reduces obstacles to care and increases access.
“VA’s latest ATLAS site reaffirms the effectiveness of collaborating with private organizations to provide cutting-edge care to Veterans,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “The American Legion and Philips North America are providing the space and technology for these sites so Veterans can conveniently access VA health care services in their communities.”
“The events of the last few months have reinforced the value of telehealth and the relationship between VA, The American Legion and Philips,” said James W. “Bill” Oxford, national commander of The American Legion. “Not all Veterans live close to a VA Medical Center. Travel can be expensive, frustrating and time-consuming. With COVID-19 in the mix it can also be dangerous. ATLAS sites will make health care delivery safer and more efficient for those Veterans in particular.”
“Our mission as an organization is to improve the lives of 2.5 billion people a year by 2030 and there is no community more deserving than our nation’s Veterans,” said Vitor Rocha, chief market leader of Philips North America. “Working with VA, The American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars enables us to drive innovations and programs to help improve Veterans’ health and allow them to get the care they need, when then need it, in a safe convenient place, regardless of where they live.”
The VA Secretary’s Center for Strategic Partnerships facilitated the collaboration between The American Legion and Philips North America that helps increase Veteran access to VA health care. American Legion Post 176 has donated private appointment space and will provide operational support for the Springfield ATLAS site. Philips North America donated telehealth equipment and co-created telehealth-capable appointment spaces that will be used at the multiple ATLAS sites.
VA has established procedures at ATLAS sites to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These procedures are based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Environmental Protection Agency. The ATLAS site at The American Legion in Springfield is also following local and state guidelines for COVID-19.
To learn more about ATLAS, visit the VA Office of Connected Care.
This article originally appeared on the Washington DC VA Medical Center’s website.