VA, Walmart open telehealth locations to serve Veterans in rural areas


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VA and Walmart cut the ribbon in Asheboro, North Carolina, Dec. 10, for a new VA-led Accessing Telehealth through Local Area Stations (ATLAS) services pilot location.

Walmart donated equipment and space at five sites as part of a pilot initiative allowing Veterans to meet with a VA provider in a private room via video technology. VA telehealth clinical services vary by location and may include: primary care, nutrition, mental health and social work.

“This type of collaboration is the way of the future,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “Veterans need the expansion of choice, and this partnership is vital to affording them convenient access to VA health care services where they live.”

This new option makes VA care easier to access and eases the burden of long travel times to appointments.

“As both a Veteran of the Air Force and a father whose son and son-in-law are serving, I know firsthand how important support and access is for our military, especially when it comes to health care,” said Chief Growth Officer for Walmart U.S. Health and Wellness, Daryl Risinger. “Walmart is committed to making quality health care affordable and accessible and is working with VA to expand its ability to serve Veterans through technology. This is another way we are helping our communities live better.”

VA leads the nation in telehealth services. Last fiscal year, there were more than 1.3 million video telehealth encounters with more than 490,000 Veterans. Other telehealth pilot sites are in Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa.

This news release was published on the VA News Releases webpage.

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VA News

Comments

  1. Konrad E. Hayashi, MD, MPH & TM    

    Having telehealth access, at Walmart / other sites is a notable move forward. Building on that experience should enable migration to regular use of real-time VA-to-home consultations. I’d recommend post offices as sites as they already are familiar with Federal processes, and are nationwide. (Note: The Japanese have long provided another service – saving accounts – at their post offices, and their population has a much higher savings rate, and they didn’t face the banking crisis we did.) Access to medical care is especially challenging in places like Alaska, not to mention the Marshall Islands and Micronesia. Pacific Island populations have some of the highest rates of enlistment into our military, but there are limited on-ground resources. I had the privilege to serve globally during my career as a Navy physician, and worked on implementing telehealth initially on our larger deck ships, then more broadly, and now am a public health physician with a Federal agency. Partnerships and telehealth are force multipliers for veterans and families.

  2. Daniel Isaac    

    What’s funny about that; they (Walmart) are in business; and is not a”social entitlements” organization!

  3. Alton Hill    

    This is good news as I have to drive 2 hours one way and2 back getting more difficult every time I go from Mt Pleasant Texas To Dallas please get us help in rural areas

  4. Robert Miller    

    Funny how Walmart’s treatment of its employees, married to servicemen and women, don’t get time off when their spouses return home from deployments.

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