Mobile Vet Centers: Expanding Health Care for Rural Vets



Today, VA is adding more vehicles to its fleet of 50 Mobile Vet Centers. Dr. Robert Petzel, VA’s Under Secretary for Health, is overseeing the deployment of an additional 20 MVCs from Farber Specialty Vehicles in Columbus, Ohio. The new vehicles will help continue to expand access to VA health care in rural areas.

If you’re not familiar, the idea behind Mobile Vet Centers (MVC) is to reach the ever-growing number of rural Veterans across the country. There are over 7.8 million Vets who live miles away from their nearest VA Vet Center but with the help of Mobile Vet Centers, services are practically being brought to the Veteran’s doorstep.

The vehicles—closely resembling the RVs we see touring the country during the summer months—provide Vets with vital, on-the-spot treatment and resources. Vets can receive counseling for post-traumatic stress and military sexual trauma, marriage and family counseling, and information on VA benefits information. The main factor is that MVCs are cutting down travel time and expenses for Veterans. Instead of driving two hours for an appointment, Vets now have the opportunity to meet with someone in their hometown.

While Veterans from the current conflicts begin to redeploy and settle in rural parts of the country, VA is taking to the road to make sure they receive proper health care.

Author

Kate Hoit

Comments

  1. Alda Copeland    

    PTSD should be considered as a “traumatic brain injury” and the veterans from all conflicts or wars who have been disabled because of PTSD should be awarded the same Purple Heart awarded to other injured-in-battle veterans. PTSD is a serious life altering injury.
    My marine/husband felt cheated by his “Uncle Sam” until the day he died; because his wound was not visible did not lessen the impact on his quality of life.

  2. Roberto    

    Thank you for your service, Dave, and welcome home. It is Veterans like you that the Vet Centers were created as to assist the reintegration process with family, society, and a beneficial lifestyle. It is Veterans like you, that allowed the “system” to recognize their challenges since VN and have come a long way since the 70s and 80s. Vet Centers were built with you in mind and since their 30 years inception, have helped many returning Combat Veterans attain their services, benefits, and/or entitlements. In closing, again, thank you for allowing us to never forget where we came from and how we can help our returning Combat Veterans have a seamless transition.

  3. Jillian Downs    

    My husband is a Psychologist at a Vet Center, and I have met many of the therapists that work at various Vet Centers. These are some of the kindest, most caring people you would ever want to meet. They are veterans who have served, many of them in combat, and have a unique perspective of experiencing many similar situations as the clients who have come into the centers for counseling. The mobile Vet Centers are wonderful additions to the VA. I have seen my husband and his collegues in action at county fairs and other events. They really do a lot of outreach and get the word out to veterans and their families about the benefits that the VA offers.

  4. dave    

    i’m a viet nam conflict in country vet with 100%ptsd s/c t/p. and with other problems. now i understand about the health issues but the mental issues i have a problem with. i know before these vets were deployed they had phys on the ground waiting 4 them 2 land. they had counseling while they were there and a 1 year mandatory visits to the doc. we had nothing. we delt with it in our ways. we left, we hid, we died we r still living the actions that we did 40 plus years ago. now the va puts more vet centers on the road give me a break. that’s more jobs 4 their buddies 2 have.

    1. Derek    

      One of the biggest issues with the quality of services recieved by veterans is cross generational in fighting. What’s bigger is complaining. You need to express your concerns, demand and expect respect from those that send/sent you to war, and follow up on those expectations. We also fail by joining political parties which have all differed in their views but have been consistent in failing to set a standard deserving of all veterans, especially from your generation instead of joining veterans organizations or establishing effective organizations. I share your concerns and disagree with some based on experience and knowledge. There has been no consistency in the delivery of services and they didnt start during your era and will not end during mine. I do believe we can change it though.

  5. Dan F    

    Many vets are still unable to get the treatment they need, but this is not the answer. For the life of me, I don’t understand why mileage allowance is not paid for travel for counseling at Vet Centers or at outreach offices. Vet Centers are part of the VA and VA benefits state you should be reimbursed for travel for service connected disabilities. Just think how many reimbursements could be paid ( this is a big reason guys/gals don’t go) instead of spending hundreds of thousands on each motor home, plus the down time cost of the traveling counselor, upkeep and diesel.

    I have seen these mobile Vet Centers at different venues doing what they call outreach. It is more like a day away from the office for the counselors. Do they really believe there should be at your door counseling? If that is the case, how about sending a VA doctor on a house call next time I can’t get out of bed and they tell me to drive 62 miles?

    1. Tom Caldwell    

      I would love to drive only 62 miles. I have to drive 163 miles one way two times a week.

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