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Nevada, VA pilot initiative for traveling veterans

Date:

Nevada News Group

A pilot program has been formed between the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the State of Nevada to connect military service members traveling the rural areas with telehealth and mental health resources. 

The Nevada Department of Transportation has posted flyers at many rest areas across the Silver State. The flyers provide information on telehealth options, the closest VA location and the Veterans Crisis Line. Veterans may also access care based on emergent, urgent or routine health-care needs.

“We are excited to collaborate with VA to share information about health care options for Veterans at more than 30 rest areas across the state,” said NDOT Director Tracy Larkin Thomason. “As a major travel corridor for both the Southwest and Mountain West, we believe this is a unique opportunity to reach the thousands of individuals who utilize our rest areas daily.”

Thomason said the state is proud to inform veterans and their families of the various benefits.

Many drivers and their family members could benefit from services like VA Telehealth, and we are proud to play a small part in getting the word out.”
According to the VA, the agency collaborated with the state after seeing successful efforts implemented by other states across the Rocky Mountain region. Nevada maintains more than 100,000 miles of roadways to include the Interstate Highway System and State Highway System. 

VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System in Reno provides veteran care in northern Nevada and northeastern California, while the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System in North Las Vegas covers the southern portion of the state. The VA Salt Lake City Health Care System services northeastern Nevada.

“Partnering with Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) to find new ways to reach the veteran community is exciting, and we are grateful for their willingness to share information about VA Telehealth and crisis contact information at every rest area throughout Nevada,” said Reno director Kevin Amick. “As a highly rural state, it is critical to us that veterans know of the new and easy ways to access their health care. To expand services from VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System (VASNHCS) to veterans who are traveling to or through Nevada means we can continue serving America’s heroes with the world class healthcare they deserve.” 

After rolling out the project in Nevada, the VA plans to continue the initiative in other states. 

Steve Ranson
Steve Ranson
Steve Ranson is Editor Emeritus of the Lahontan Valley News.

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