Mark Reynolds, Commander for the area’s American Legion, said he used to drive 97 miles to get to his VA appointments for primary care. Now, with the opening of the telehealth clinic in Holbrook, AZ he will only drive about three.
The clinic opened August 12 for a ribbon cutting ceremony and has been operational to Veterans since August 15. The facility, located at 33 West Vista Drive, will cover around 90 percent of Veteran’s day-to-day needs though a doctor will not be physically present. The tele-health technology allows patients to sit in front of a high resolution TV monitor and have their appointment with a doctor based at the Prescott VA Medical Center.
Veterans from all eras showed up to celebrate at the ribbon cutting ceremony, saying how much better this will be for them. Some said they were unsure about the use of technology but know that the staff is “always helpful” and will make sure they can reach the doctor when needed.
Medical Center Director Donna Jacobs said, “We are taking one step closer to fulfilling one of the VA’s key priorities to expanding access to VA benefits and services for Veterans of all generations. Through the expansion of the telemedicine clinic, the VA has made a concerted effort to increase access for Veterans seeking health care.”
Telehealth in the Veterans Health Administration helps ensure Veteran patients get the right care in the right place at the right time. Dan Roper, Holbrook facility and nurse manager, said he and Telehealth Physician Dr. David Brill “are very enthusiastic about the project because it’s the first one of its kind in Arizona.” Roper said patients will also be able to pick up medications through local pharmacies if needed. Rural Health Coordinator Rod Sepulveda served an instrumental role in opening the clinic. “I think that opening the Holbrook Clinic further illustrates our commitment to taking care of our Veterans and in ensuring they have access to the quality healthcare they deserve,” he said. In the last two years, the VA invested over $284 million in telehealth technology, committing to greater access and serving as a leader in healthcare delivery.
–To learn more about the VA’s telehealth program, please visit www.telehealth.va.gov.