VA puts up $215 million to improve rural services

VA has provided $215 million in competitive funding to improve services specifically designed for veterans in rural areas. The current population of enrolled veterans in such areas is 3.2 million, about 40 percent of the enrolled veteran population.American Legion National Commander David K. Rehbein applauded the funding initiative. “The American Legion supports all initiatives and legislation that enhance the availability of health care to all veterans who reside in regions where access to this care is inadequate,” he said.The new funding is part of an ambitious VA program to improve access and quality of health care for veterans in rural areas, with an emphasis on use of the latest technologies and collaboration with non-VA partners.In August 2006, the Legion passed a resolution at its 88th National Convention in Salt Lake City that supported enhanced health care for rural veterans. The resolution urged VA “to improve access to quality primary and specialty health care services, using all available means at their disposal, for veterans living in rural ... areas.”