Wednesday, August 27, 2008

VA Mobile Health Care Clinics Reach Rural Veterans
Service Coming to 24 Counties in Six States

WASHINGTON (Aug. 27, 2008) -- 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.