What: Virtual Living Room® Grand Opening Ribbon-Cutting Celebration
Who: White River Junction VA Healthcare System, the Foundation for Rural Service, CoBank, American Legion Post 19, and Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom
When: Monday, February 10, 2020, 2:00 PM
Where: The American Legion Post 19
56 Airport Drive
Bristol, VT 05443
Veterans living in areas of rural Vermont will soon have another option to access medical and behavioral health appointments. The White River Junction VA Healthcare System has partnered with The Foundation for Rural Service (FRS), CoBank, American Legion Post 19, and Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom to open The Virtual Living Room®, a comfortable, private space housed within the American Legion facility in Bristol, VT. This dedicated space allows area Veterans to access health care appointments, using telehealth services, as an alternative to driving long distances to the nearest VA facility or health care provider.
People in rural communities across the country often encounter difficulties in accessing health care services. Veterans living in the Twin States face similar challenges. There may be a shortage of medical and behavioral providers in their community, and the nearest VA facility is too far away. Perhaps they lack a home internet connection or there are no broadband services in the community to support the option of telemedicine. The Virtual Living Room® provides a viable, promising resource for area rural Veterans to gain critical access to a broad range of medical and behavioral health care.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is the nation’s largest provider of telehealth services. There are nearly 3 million rural Veterans enrolled in the VA healthcare system nationwide. Provider shortages, long distances to health care facilities, limited transportation options, and lack of broadband services, can prevent Veterans from obtaining timely, quality care. Telehealth technology has helped to overcome these obstacles.