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VA Palo Alto Health Care System

 

New Medical Outreach Van Expands Care to Veterans

Staff and Veterans cut ribbon in front of medical van

Staff and Veterans cut ribbon in front of new mobile medical unit.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

VA Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) introduced Veterans to a brand new state-of-the-art Mobile Medical Unit (MMU) during the Veterans Town Hall in June at the American Legion Post 694 in Marina, Calif.  Whether the Medical Outreach team is connecting an aging Veteran in Modesto with a specialty care provider or giving examinations for homeless Veterans in San Jose, this new addition to its mobile fleet will make it easier to provide crucial services to Veterans across nine bay area counties.

Mobile Outreach teams already visit an average of 30 to 40 sites a month with the current vehicles, but this new MMU enhances their capabilities with two expandable exam rooms, a triage area and a fast satellite connection to the VA network.  

“We are excited about the new mobile unit – in fact we plan to add telehealth technology to enable the team and providers at all of our sites to work together and increase access to specialty care,” said Dr. Jean Lighthall, Section Chief for Medical Outreach. “This is crucial for Veterans who are normally restricted by economic or physical barriers.”

The VAPAHCS Outreach team makes scheduled visits to a variety of sites including homeless shelters, colleges, libraries, community centers, Veteran Service Organizations, and Veterans Memorial Buildings.  Additionally, the MMU can be used to respond to emergency situations like the recent wild fires, helping Veterans that are already overburdened by being displaced.

While the MMU does not replace the important role of clinic and hospital visits, it does help in bridging the gap between Veterans and access to care when needed. For more information or to schedule the team for an outreach event, email Kelly.conway@va.gov.

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