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Rural Project Examples: Veterans

Evidence-Based Examples

Telepsychology-Service Delivery for Depressed Elderly Veterans
Updated/reviewed December 2019
  • Need: To provide evidence-based psychotherapy for depression in elderly veterans who are unable to seek mental health treatment due to distance or stigma.
  • Intervention: Telepsychology-Service Delivery for Depressed Elderly Veterans compared providing behavioral activation therapy via home-based telehealth and the same treatment delivered in a traditional office-based format.
  • Results: A 2015 study and two 2016 studies show that providing treatment via home-based telehealth to elderly veterans in South Carolina resulted in the same improved health outcomes, quality of life, satisfaction with care, and cost of healthcare compared to those receiving face-to-face treatment.

Effective Examples

STAIR (Skills Training in Affective and Interpersonal Regulation)
Updated/reviewed January 2020
  • Need: To increase access to telemental health services for rural veterans, especially women, with a history of trauma.
  • Intervention: STAIR (Skills Training in Affective and Interpersonal Regulation) is a 10-week program designed to reduce PTSD and depression symptoms and increase emotional regulation and social functioning in clients.
  • Results: Therapists reported that clients attended more sessions when offered via teleconferencing, and clients reported satisfaction with the program.
Rural Telemental Health (RTMH) Program
Updated/reviewed July 2018
  • Need: To provide high-quality mental healthcare to rural veterans.
  • Intervention: The Rural Telemental Health (RTMH) program, stationed at the Portland VA Medical Center, reaches rural veterans in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington via telehealth.
  • Results: From 2010 to 2013, 1,754 veterans received diagnoses, therapy, medication management, and other mental health services.

Other Project Examples

Military Medics and Corpsmen Program
Updated/reviewed September 2020
  • Need: To help veterans transition into civilian healthcare careers.
  • Intervention: MMAC and healthcare employers in urban and rural Virginia provide employment and education opportunities to veterans seeking civilian medical credentials.
  • Results: MMAC has accepted 785 applicants into the program, 267 of whom have already found employment via the MMAC program.
Telehealth Collaborative Care
Updated/reviewed September 2020
  • Need: To increase access to specialty care for rural veterans living with HIV.
  • Intervention: The Telehealth Collaborative Care (TCC) study connects these patients with HIV specialists via clinical video telehealth or VA video connect and works to create shared care relationships with primary care teams in rural areas.
  • Results: TCC provides HIV specialty care access to rural veterans in a sustainable manner with infrastructure, mentorship, and capacity building.
funded by the Health Resources Services Administration Implementation of a Nursing Veterans' Initiative to Transform Education (INVITE)
Updated/reviewed June 2020
  • Need: To support rural veterans pursuing a career in nursing.
  • Intervention: The INVITE program improved the curriculum and reworked admission requirements to better support veteran students' experiences in the College of St. Scholastica undergraduate nursing program.
  • Results: The number of veterans pursuing nursing has more than doubled since program implementation, and all students have reported an increased interest in serving rural communities.
Together With Veterans Rural Suicide Prevention Program
Added December 2019
  • Need: Suicide among veterans has been steadily increasing, and rural veterans have a 20% increased risk of death by suicide compared to urban veterans.
  • Intervention: A program called Together With Veterans was formed to help rural communities address and prevent suicides among veterans. The initiative is veteran-led, collaborative, evidence-based, and community-centered.
  • Results: The program is currently in 6 states and reaches over 1,500 veterans every quarter while nurturing connections between agencies and community members.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy funded by the Health Resources Services Administration ASPIN's Certified Recovery Specialist Program
Updated/reviewed November 2019
  • Need: Improved approach in addressing the behavioral health and primary care disparities of Indiana's underserved rural counties.
  • Intervention: A network was established that trained community health workers (CHW) to be certified health insurance enrollment navigators and provide mental health services.
  • Results: This year, ASPIN trained 61 CHWs, cross-trained 37 behavioral health case managers as CHWs, and 26 individuals in the Indiana Navigator Pre-certification Education.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Indiana Veterans Behavioral Health Network
Updated/reviewed November 2019
  • Need: To address the lack of mental healthcare options for rural veterans.
  • Intervention: A telebehavioral health hub network was created to connect community mental health centers to the VA Medical Center.
  • Results: More than 3,000 telehealth appointments have been made, saving hundreds of veterans time and money.
Tele-ICU for Veterans
Updated/reviewed June 2019
  • Need: To enhance care for patients in critical condition.
  • Intervention: Two VA facilities in Oklahoma and Ohio are connected through audiovisual equipment using smart technology in order for providers to monitor patients and consult with clinical staff at the bedside.
  • Results: From April 2018 to April 2019, there were 5,933 video assessments performed on ICU patients at the Oklahoma facility by tele-ICU staff. This resulted in 7,379 hours of patient care time.