Leslie Bennett, Telehealth, Telemental Healthy and Rural Health program manager for VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System, waves to Legion Riders after receiving an OCW donation at Fallon, Nev., Post 16 on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017. Photo by Clay Lomneth / The American Legion.

OCW donation will aid VA telehealth efforts

Telehealth continues to become a bigger part of Department of Veterans Affairs health care. Using teleconferences, the program allows veterans to connect remotely with their caregivers.

That makes The American Legion’s donation of four high-definition televisions to the VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System (VASNHCS) even more valuable.

The TVs were part of an Operation Comfort Warriors donation made during the Legacy Run’s Wednesday stop at American Legion Post 16 in Fallon, Nev. Two of the televisions will go to community-based outpatient clinics, while the other two will be used in the health-care system’s drug and mental health programs.

“Telehealth is really important right now in reaching out to our rural sites,” said Leslie Bennett, VASNHCS’s Telehealth, Telemental Healthy and Rural Health program manager, as well as the system’s chief of staff. “Having those new (TVs) will give us some extra ability to provide more access to the veterans.

“When we get a donation from the community like this, and our veterans know that people went the extra mile, it means so much to them. They feel they care about them.”

In addition to the TVs, other items included in the donation were exercise equipment, darts and other games, and toiletries.

Post 16 Chaplain Cliff Fargse helped shop for the items. “I love it,” he said of being able to help facilitate the grant locally. “I’m retired Navy myself, and I see the veterans that are not doing really well. They appreciate the items that they get through this organization and through this particular program.”