First veterans telehealth site in Arizona opens under Sinema guidance
PHOENIX — The first telehealth site for veterans is opening in Arizona, an initiative led by U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema.
The Project ATLAS telehealth site in Wickenburg provides private spaces with internet access and technology necessary to meet with VA providers through a secure video connection.
“It’s pretty exciting. It means that a veteran that doesn’t have internet access at home — or even if they do — this pod allows for privacy with a connection,” Sinema told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday.
Sinema said she heard from veterans who didn’t have access to meet their health care demands, an issue perpetuated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many Arizona veterans live in rural parts of the state as well, which often led to limited access.
Before the telehealth site, veterans would have to travel to VA medical care facilities in Prescott or Phoenix.
“What we found is that lack of transportation and lack of reliable internet access has really prevented some veterans from getting access to critical health care and it’s only got worse during the pandemic,” Sinema said.
The site was chosen as a pilot location through a partnership between the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Philips North America and the American Legion.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Taylor Kinnerup contributed to this report.