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Veterans Telehealth Program

Veterans will soon have a new option when it comes to their health care. The Veterans Telehealth Program is coming to the Evarts Public Library.

According the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website at https://www.telehealth.va.gov, “VA Telehealth Services uses health informatics, disease management and telehealth technologies to target care and case management to improve access to care, improving the health of veterans.

“Telehealth changes the location where health care services are routinely provided. The value VA derives from telehealth is not in implementing telehealth technologies alone, but how VA uses health informatics, disease management and telehealth technologies to target care/case management thereby facilitating access to care and improving the health of veterans.”

Harlan County Public Library Director Richard Haynes shed some light on the program.

“We were contacted about a pilot program that occurred at the McKee library,” Haynes said. “They have a Telehealth meeting space set aside for veterans to come in and meet with their doctors via an Internet link.”

Haynes explained the program uses a video conferencing system similar to Skype. He said the program has been approved to take place in the Evarts facility.

Hanes pointed out they have acquired the equipment necessary to put the program in motion.

“We’re looking at September or October,” Hanes said, referring to the expected start date of the program. “We have the equipment, we have the internet access…and the board has signed a memorandum of understanding with the VA.”

Haynes explained how the program will operate.

“The veteran will make the appointment with his doctor and the doctor will tell the library they need the equipment at that time,” Haynes said.

Haynes said the program will begin in Evarts, but there is a possibility it will expand to the Cumberland and Harlan facilities in the future.

The program will be available for physical and mental health applications, including counseling and checkups.

“We will be the third library in Kentucky doing this,” Haynes said. “Helping our community is what our library is about.”

For more information, go to https://www.va.gov/COMMUNITYCARE/docs/news/VA_Telehealth_Services.pdf