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VA moving online to help patients during 'stay home' orders

Posted: 9:23 AM, Mar 25, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-25 12:49:55-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — As Gov. Sisolak issues “stay home” orders to all of Nevada for 30 days, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is moving online. The VA already had a digital appointment system called “VA Video Connects” in place prior to the coronavirus outbreak, and has been utilizing the program more now that people are asked to stay home.

“I’m grateful that we have this because I think during this time there’s a lot of misconceptions, there’s fear, there’s anxiety, there’s more questions than answers,” said Chief of Primary Care Dr. Maia Carter.

She said about half of their appointments overall have moved to this video chatting software, making sure veterans can still have medical appointments but from the safety of their homes.

One service that’s moved completely to the VA Video Connects program is mental health appointments. Tim Jobin is the chief of staff for Behavioral Health and said it’s more important now than ever to keep a connection between veterans. Many who struggle with PTSD are told not to isolate to help their mental health, so he said it’s important to stay in contact with patients to make sure they’re finding other ways to stay healthy.

“It may not be the way you’re used to tapping into them in person, but you’re still tapping into them and that’s key,” said Jobin.

Every year, the Southern Nevada VA treats 20,000 patients for mental health.