VA Awards $219.2M to Increase Rural Veterans’ Access to Health Care and Services
The 2.9 million rural Veterans who rely on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for health care will benefit from a recent award of $219.2 million in health care programs and services by VA’s Office of Rural Health (ORH).
“Our mission is to improve the health and well-being of rural Veterans by increasing their access to care and services,” said Gina Capra, ORH Director. “To do this in a more uniform manner nationwide, we shifted our focus from local pilot programs to spread what we refer to as enterprise-wide initiatives – or proven solutions designed to bring care and services closer to home for rural Veterans.”
In fact, this funding translates to more than 40 enterprise-wide initiatives at 400 VA medical centers and community based outpatient clinic sites in more than 45 states across the U.S., with more sites expected throughout fiscal year 2017.
The initiatives reach 75 percent of the 167 VA medical centers across the nation. ORH estimates these initiatives will impact more than 570,000 rural Veterans.
ORH’s fiscal year 2017 enterprise-wide initiatives are grouped into five categories, listed below with corresponding funding amounts:
- Primary care services – $61.7 million
- Mental health services – $22.5 million
- Specialty care services – $57.4 million
- Workforce training and education services – $10.7 million
- Ancillary support services – $66.9 million (comprised mostly of transportation-related programs)
“This year and beyond, we will continue to develop programs that address rural Veteran health care needs and deliver high-quality care across the VA system,” said Capra.
Examples include free transportation for rural Veterans to or from medical appointments, physical rehabilitation at home, training for rural providers and support for caregivers of Veterans.
To view a full list and learn more about ORH’s enterprise-wide initiatives, visit http://www.ruralhealth.va.gov/providers/collaborativeaccess.asp. For more information about the VA Office of Rural Health, visit www.ruralhealth.va.gov.