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HRSA funded Rural Veterans Health Access Program

Overview

The federal Health Resources and Services Administration has funded Alaska as one of three states along with Maine and Montana in this model demonstration program  to improve the quality of mental health and other critical healthcare services for veterans living in rural areas.

Funding from 2013 to 2016 will enable health providers to coordinate care wirelessly and electronically across long distances to detect and treat post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD), traumatic brain injury, and other health issues for rural veterans.

Purpose: The Flex Rural Veterans Health Access Program’s purpose is to provide support to coordinate activities to provide rural Veterans access to services for needed mental health care via the use of networks, electronic communication, and telehealth.

The overall purpose of the Alaska RVHAP is to develop, deploy, and evaluate a pilot telehealth network and Health Information Exchange (HIE) system between the Alaska Veterans Healthcare System (AVHS) that will include a non-tribal Community Health Center (CHC), a Critical Access Hospital (CAH), and a rural Community Mental Health Center (CMHC) all located in SE Alaska.  The overall goal of this demonstration project is to create a sustainable Telehealth (TH) model with the AVHS that can be duplicated at other non-tribal CHC, CAH, and rural CMH throughout Alaska that already have TH equipment.

The RVHAP Program priorities include:

  • Using telehealth and health information technology (HIT) to enhance access and quality of mental health service and other healthcare services to veterans residing in rural areas
  • Using telehealth and HIT, including electronic health records, to help improve care coordination for Veterans who are seen by both the Veterans Administration (VA) and private providers
  • Expanding existing networks to provide access to mental health and other services to rural veterans through partnerships and coalitions with other healthcare entities
  • Consulting with the state hospital association, rural hospitals, providers of mental health services, and other stakeholders for the provision of services in the development of program activities 

For more information contact the Program Manager:

Susan Maley, MPH, Ph.D.

Susan.Maley@alaska.gov

(907) 269-2084

 

HRSA funded project: Grant number H3GRH26369

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