For Provider Participants: Partnerships

Disconnect between location of medical facilities and patients

There is now a dialysis treatment center in Mason County, Washington which is used by rural residents who formerly had to travel long distances to other centers for treatment. The new dialysis treatment center is a result of a multi-year effort by a broad community coalition.

Is it possible for the location of Veterans Medical Centers to be better aligned with where their patient population lives? Locating facilities closer to patients is one effective approach for reducing problems with transportation.


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  1. Comment

    Yes, and what about developing partnerships with existing facilities. Sometimes veterans need to travel long distances to a VA hospital or clinic, even though the services are available in their community throuhg other providers.

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    1. Comment
      hardin ( Idea Submitter )

      This sounds like something well-worth pursuing.

  2. Comment

    I agree. Our County is located on the northern border of Canada in Minnesota. The Federal VA Medical Facilities are located in Superior, WI over 3 hours travel one way, and St. Paul, MN, 6 hours travel one way. We have disabled and elderly veterans who do not have family to drive them or can drive themselves. The County is currently providing a Van service to the St. Paul facility monthly by a State V.A. Grant that allowed us to purchase a van. However, in just over two years we are now in need of a van replacement and grant funding is not available. Using our northern MN County as the starting point, there are many veterans that could be picked up enroute to the St. Paul V.A. Medical Facility to justify a veteran medical transportation system and I believe the V.A. has the responsibility to ensure all veterans have the means to get to the V.A. facilities if local facilities are not being offered. Additionally, the nearest V.A. Nursing Home Facility is over 4 hours away and is troublesome in the fact that our County veteran in the facility is far removed from their love ones here, and most likely, their loved one is elderly and has no means of transportation to visit their spouse. Again, we have a local Nursing Home. We understand that V.A. facilities are established in larger population areas but for those rural areas, the solution to service the veterans is the V.A. allowing utilizing local facilities when possibile or providing a transportation service. Koochiching County is seeking assistance from the V.A. on this matter.