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Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs

 

VA Mobile Health Care Clinics Reach Rural Veterans

August 27, 2008, 08:00:00 AM

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Service Coming to 24 Counties in Six States

WASHINGTON -- The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is rolling out four new mobile health clinics outfitted to bring primary care and mental health services closer to veterans in 24 predominately rural counties, where patients must travel long distances to visit their nearest VA medical center or outpatient clinic.

“VA is committed to providing primary care and mental health care for veterans in rural areas,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake. “Health care should be based upon the needs of patients, not their ability to travel to a clinic or medical center.”

The pilot project is called Rural Mobile Health Care Clinics.  It features a recreational-type vehicle equipped to be a rolling primary care and mental health clinic.

VA is currently in the process of procuring and outfitting the vehicles, and officials expect the mobile clinics to be operational by early 2009.  Rural areas in Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming will share a single mobile van, while Maine, Washington state and West Virginia will each have a VA mobile van.

The clinics are planned to serve:

  • Colorado:  Larimer, Jackson, Logan, and Weld counties; 
  • Maine:  Franklin, Somerset and Piscataquis counties; 
  • Nebraska:  Cheyenne, Kimball, and Scottsbluff counties;
  • Washington state:  Greys Harbor, Mason, and Lewis;
  • West Virginia:  Preston, Randolph, Upshur, Wetzel, Roane, and Taylor counties; and, 
  • Wyoming:  Albany, Carbon, Goshen, and Platte counties.

Factors considered in the selection of the participating sites included a need for improved access in the area, the degree to which clinics will expand services and collaborations with communities the clinics serve.

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