An American Legion post in Virginia is teaming up with VA and Philips North America on a new telehealth initiative called Project Atlas that is aimed at improving veterans health care.
American Legion Post 176 in Springfield, Va., is hosting one of the first sites where veterans can attend private video appointments to meet with VA providers through VA Video Connect. They offer services that do not require hands-on exams, such as primary care, nutrition, mental health counseling and social work.
Project Atlas centers are closer to veterans’ homes, which allows VA to improve care and increase access. That has become especially important during the pandemic, American Legion National Commander James W. “Bill” Oxford noted.
“The events of the last few months have reinforced the value of telehealth and the relationship between VA, The American Legion and Philips,” Oxford said. “Not all veterans live close to a VA Medical Center. Travel can be expensive, frustrating and time-consuming. With COVID-19 in the mix it can also be dangerous. ATLAS sites will make health-care delivery safer and more efficient for those veterans in particular.”
VA has established procedures at ATLAS sites to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These procedures are based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Environmental Protection Agency. The ATLAS site at the Springfield post is also following local and state guidelines for the coronavirus.
“VA’s latest ATLAS site reaffirms the effectiveness of collaborating with private organizations to provide cutting-edge care to veterans,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “The American Legion and Philips North America are providing the space and technology for these sites so veterans can conveniently access VA health-care services in their communities.”
The VA Secretary’s Center for Strategic Partnerships facilitated the collaboration between The American Legion and Philips North America. American Legion Post 176 has donated private appointment space and will provide operational support for the Springfield ATLAS site. Philips North America donated telehealth equipment and co-created telehealth-capable appointment spaces that will be used at the multiple ATLAS sites.
“Our mission as an organization is to improve the lives of 3 billion people a year by 2030 and there is no community more deserving than our nation’s veterans,” said Vitor Rocha, chief market leader of Philips North America. “Working with VA and The American Legion enables us to drive innovations and programs to help improve veterans’ health and allow them to get the care they need, when then need it, in a safe convenient place, regardless of where they live.”
To learn more about ATLAS, visit the VA Office of Connected Care.