Rural Arizona latest VA, American Legion telehealth access point


WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) opened a new ATLAS (Accessing Telehealth through Local Area Stations) site, March 15, at American Legion Post 12 in Wickenburg, Arizona.

This gives Veterans associated with the Phoenix and Northern Arizona VA Health Care Systems the option to receive VA care closer to home in a setting that feels like a doctor’s office, offering both the technology and privacy for Veterans to connect with their VA care team through a video visit.

“The ATLAS initiative is designed to provide convenient access to VA health care for Veterans living in rural areas, for Veterans with limited internet access and for Veterans who don’t have a convenient location to connect with VA by video from their home,” said VA Chief Officer for Office of Connected Care Neil Evans, M.D. “The sites allow VA to offer services that do not require hands-on exams, such as primary care, nutrition counseling, mental health counseling and social work.”

“By establishing these points of care closer to Veterans’ homes, ATLAS reduces obstacles for Veterans and increases access to care,” said James “Bill” Oxford, national commander of The American Legion. “Distance, transportation and parking become less of a hindrance when Veterans can simply visit a local American Legion post and receive care through the magic of telehealth technology.”

Telehealth has long been an integral part of VA’s care delivery to Veterans, even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic. All ATLAS sites have procedures to prevent the spread of the virus based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Environmental Protection Agency..

VA’s Office of Connected Care has full details about ATLAS which was facilitated by the Secretary’s Center for Strategic Partnerships.

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