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Access to Healthcare for Rural Veterans Resources

Selected recent or important resources focusing on Access to Healthcare for Rural Veterans.

No Wrong Door: Supporting Community Living for Veterans
Reports on several Veteran-Directed Home- and Community-Based Services (VD-HCBS) programs in 7 states. Presents a breakdown of each program and highlights challenges each program had to overcome. Bases analysis on 2 separate state surveys. Also includes tools useful to building collaborative partnerships between VA medical providers and aging and disability agencies in order to better serve veterans in their communities.
Author(s): Christina Neill Bowen, Wendy Fox-Grage, Kali Thomas, James Rudolph
Date: 11/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: AARP Public Policy Institute
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Rural Veteran Population Continues to Decline Despite Rise in Post-9/11 Veterans
Chart showing the change in the rural veteran population from 2006 to 2016, with a comparison of pre-9/11 and post-9/11 rural veterans.
Date: 11/2017
Type: Chart/Graph
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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Veterans Health Administration: Better Data and Evaluation Could Help Improve Physician Staffing, Recruitment, and Retention Strategies
Reviews the Veterans Health Administration's (VHA) recruitment and retention strategies, specifically for VHA physicians working in the five areas identified as mission-critical: primary care, mental health, gastroenterology, orthopedic surgery, and emergency medicine. Presents information on how many VHA physicians provide care, the extent VHA measures physician workload and productivity, and how current recruitment and retention strategies are evaluated. Makes recommendations for improving VHA workforce development and planning based on interviews with VHA officials and a review of VHA documentation.
Date: 10/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Government Accountability Office
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Organizations Help Veterans Transition into Healthcare Careers
Highlights the work of the Multi-State Collaborative on Military Credit and the Consortium of Michigan Veterans Educators to help veterans pursue careers in healthcare. Discusses the role veterans have played in the past and continue to play in meeting the health workforce needs of rural communities. Identifies barriers veterans face transitioning to health careers.
Author(s): Allee Mead
Location: Rural Monitor
Date: 10/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Rural Health Information Hub
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Barriers and Facilitators to Implementation of VA Home-based Primary Care on American Indian Reservations: A Qualitative Multi-case Study
Highlights a study on the efficacy of the Veterans Health Affairs (VA) home-based primary care program at providing non-institutional long-term care for rural American Indian veterans living on reservations. Bases findings on a qualitative analysis of interviews conducted with staff, clinicians, and managers who oversaw the program's implementation. Discusses the challenges, barriers, and facilitators related the program's expansion into Indian Country.
Author(s): B. Josea Kramer, Sarah D. Cote, Diane I. Lee, Beth Creekmur, Debra Saliba
Location: Implementation Science, 12, 109
Date: 09/2017
Type: Document
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Veterans Are Positioned To Contribute Economically to Rural Communities
Describes the geographic distribution of rural working age and elderly veterans. Identifies the employment sectors where rural veterans work, including their contribution to education and health-related occupations. Compares the earnings of rural veterans and nonveterans by employment sector.
Author(s): Tracey Farrigan
Location: Amber Waves
Date: 09/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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Response to Commentary: Partnered Research to Improve Health of Rural Veterans
Describes how VA-funded Centers of Innovation (COINs) develop strategies optimizing care for veterans in rural areas. Focuses on programs in Salt Lake City, Utah; West Haven, Connecticut; and North Little Rock, Arkansas.
Author(s): Teresa Hudson
Date: 08/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: VA Health Services Research & Development Service
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Research Highlight: Building an Adequate VA Care Network - Evaluating the Impact of Choice Providers
Discusses the impact of VA Choice providers on VA network adequacy. Focuses primarily on the impact of Choice providers located in areas of low VA network adequacy, such as rural areas and/or healthcare shortage areas.
Author(s): Evan Carey
Date: 08/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: VA Health Services Research & Development Service
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Research Highlight: Identifying Barriers to Engagement in Mental Health Care: Perspectives of Rural Veterans and Providers
Describes a study of ways that attitudes influence treatment-seeking and use of mental health services among veterans in rural areas. Features results from interviews with 25 rural veterans and 11 rural mental health care providers in Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, and Wisconsin.
Author(s): Ellen P. Fischer, Jean C. McSweeney, Patricia Wright
Date: 08/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: VA Health Services Research & Development Service
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Research Highlight: VHA-Indian Health Service Collaborations Reveal Opportunities to Improve Rural Health Care
Describes results of the expansion of the Veterans Administration Home Based Primary Care program to rural areas and to American Indian reservations, beginning in 2009.
Author(s): B. Josea Kramer, Debra Saliba
Date: 08/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: VA Health Services Research & Development Service
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Research Highlight: The Virtual Specialty Care QUERI Program - Improving Access to High-Quality Specialty Care for Rural Veterans
Highlights the Virtual Specialty Care (VSC) QUERI Program, a measure to support operational partners, such as the Office of Rural Health, Office of Connected Care, and Mental Health Services, as virtual care technologies are implemented to increase access to specialty care for rural veterans. Discusses the challenges of evaluating rapidly evolving technologies without stifling their development.
Author(s): John Fortney, Greg Reger, Alexis Beatty
Date: 08/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: VA Health Services Research & Development Service
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Lessons Learned: A Rural Case Study - Challenges Increasing Access to Dental Care Among Rural Veterans
Details the referral process initiated by the Grand Island Dental Outpatient Team in Nebraska for rural veterans who are ineligible for VA dental coverage to receive basic treatment from community dentists. Discusses some of the challenges to designing and implementing the program, such as establishing new partnerships with local dentists, adhering to a sustainable staffing plan, and pursuing data collection and analysis for measuring outcomes, among other factors.
Date: 05/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Veterans Health Administration's Office of Rural Health
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Veterans Health Administration: Actions Needed to Better Recruit and Retain Clinical and Administrative Staff
Testimony before the House Subcommittee on Health and the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs detailing the Veterans Health Administration's (VHA) challenges in attracting, hiring, and retaining top healthcare talent, including in rural locations. Also discusses the VHA's capacity to perform key human resources functions and makes recommendations for future improvements.
Date: 03/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Government Accountability Office
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Veterans' Health Care: Preliminary Observations on Veterans' Access to Choice Program Care
Preliminary observations about the Veterans Choice Program, which was created in 2014 and allows veterans to receive care from non-VA providers if certain conditions are met. Outlines the procedure the VA has established for scheduling appointments, discusses what is known about the timeliness of appointments for routine and urgent care, and lays out plans to improve the timeliness of the Choice Program.
Date: 03/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Government Accountability Office
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State of VHA Care for Vulnerable Veterans
Webinar recording detailing the conclusions of the National Veteran Health Equity Report, the subsequent VHA health equity action plan, and the current state of VHA care for vulnerable veterans.
Additional links: Audio Recording, Webinar Slides
Date: 01/2017
Type: Video/Multimedia
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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Remote Eye Care Screening for Rural Veterans with Technology-Based Eye Care Services: A Quality Improvement Project
Highlights the improvement in access to eye care and screening services for rural veterans as a result of the Technology-based Eye Care Services (TECS), a quality improvement project developed by the Atlanta Veterans Affairs (VA).
Author(s): April Maa, Barbara Wojciechowski, Kelly Hunt, et al.
Location: Rural and Remote Health, 2017(17) 4045
Date: 01/2017
Type: Document
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Veterans in Rural America: 2011-2015
Reports detailed demographic, social, and economic characteristics of rural veterans, based primarily on 2011–2015 American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year estimates. Includes comparisons of rural veterans to both urban veterans and rural nonveterans. Topics addressed include health insurance coverage, disability status and service-connected disability, and use of VA healthcare.
Additional links: Rural Veterans State Tables
Author(s): Kelly Ann Holder
Date: 01/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Census Bureau
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Bridging Gaps in Mental Health Care: Lessons Learned from the Welcome Back Veterans Initiative
Details a study on the role of privately funded programs filling in the gaps between the Military Health System (MHS), the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), and civilian healthcare providers in providing mental healthcare to veterans returning from deployment.
Date: 2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: RAND Corporation
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Response to Commentary: Increasing Rural Veterans' Access to Care Through Research
Summarizes the challenges of delivering quality healthcare to rural veterans. Discusses the role of research and innovation as a means of meeting those challenges.
Author(s): Thomas F. Klobucar
Date: 2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: VA Health Services Research & Development Service
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Rural Promising Practice Issue Brief: Training Community Clergy Partners to Increase Access to Care for Rural Veterans
Presents a toolkit and web-based module for the development, implementation, and evaluation of a mental health training program for clergy to help rural veterans. Discusses in-person and web-based training methods implemented in the pilot program. Includes outcomes regarding the increase of access to mental healthcare and clinical impact for rural veterans, among other factors.
Additional links: Overview
Author(s): James Goalder, Kristen Wing, Eric Crawford, Keith Ethridge
Date: 11/2016
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Veterans Health Administration's Office of Rural Health
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Release of the Inaugural VHA National Veteran Health Equity Report
Webinar recording discusses the findings of the National Veteran Health Equity Report. Looks at health conditions and healthcare utilization among VA patients by race, gender, age, and rurality.
Additional links: Audio Recording, Webinar Transcript
Date: 10/2016
Type: Video/Multimedia
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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Patient, Hospital, and Local Health System Characteristics Associated With the Use of Observation Stays in Veterans Health Administration Hospitals, 2005 to 2012
Analyzes patient, hospital, and local, often rural, healthcare system characteristics to determine the extent of their influence on the variation in the length of observation stays in Veterans Health Administration (VHA) hospitals.
Author(s): Brad Wright, Amy M.J. O'Shea, Justin M. Glasgow, Padmaja Ayyagari, Mary Vaughan-Sarrazin
Location: Medicine (Baltimore), 95(36)
Date: 09/2016
Type: Document
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Home-Based Cardiac Care for Rural Veterans
Video describing the Home-Based Cardiac Rehabilitation Program from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Focuses on individualized care for rural veterans through cardiac telehealth. This program allows for one-on-one care for patients who cannot come for traditional clinic rehab appointments due to geographic isolation, transportation challenges, or other impediments.
Date: 08/2016
Type: Video/Multimedia
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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Improving Access to Care through Telehealth
Provides descriptions of research studies to expand access to care for Veterans through improved telehealth services.
Date: 07/2016
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: VA Health Services Research & Development Service
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Commission on Care: Final Report
Provides a comprehensive examination of how best to organize the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), allocate funding support, and deliver healthcare to veterans in a variety of settings and geographic locations. The Commission on Care was established by the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 to examine access to healthcare for veterans.
Date: 06/2016
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Commission on Care
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Assessing Fidelity of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Rural VA Clinics: Design of a Randomized Implementation Effectiveness (Hybrid Type III) Trial
Reports on a study to develop the CALM (coordinated anxiety learning and management) program to meet the needs of mental health clinicians working in Veteran Affairs (VA) community-based outpatient clinics (CBOC) and of rural veterans, and to assess the best method for future implementation of the CALM tool among mental health providers in rural VA CBOCs.
Author(s): Michael A. Cucciare, Geoffrey M. Curran, Michelle G. Craske, et al.
Date: 05/2016
Type: Document
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The Number and Share of Veterans Living in Rural America Is Declining
Chart showing the percentage of veterans living in rural areas in 2007 compared to 2014, by service period.
Date: 05/2016
Type: Chart/Graph
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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Veterans' Health Care: Proper Plan Needed to Modernize System for Paying Community Providers
Examines the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), Medicare and TRICARE systems in regards to processing Veterans healthcare claims including processing times and factors that have impeded processing and payment, as well as modified provisions to improve claim processing. Provides an overview of the Veterans Choice Program and other types of community healthcare programs offered by Veterans Affairs (VA).
Author(s): Randall B. Williamson
Date: 05/2016
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Government Accountability Office
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Health Information Exchange: A Strategy for Improving Access for Rural Veterans in the Maine Flex Rural Veterans Health Access Program
Describes the design and implementation of a project to expand access to healthcare for rural veterans through a bi-directional link between a statewide health information exchange in Maine and Veterans Administration facilities. Discusses the challenges and successes encountered in developing a health information system that is interoperable between a variety of complex agencies.
Author(s): Karen B. Pearson, Amanda Burgess, John Gale, Anush Y. Hansen, Andrew Coburn
Date: 05/2016
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Maine Rural Health Research Center
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Geographic Scope and Accessibility of a Centralized, Electronic Consult Program for Patients with Recent Fracture
Evaluates a centralized electronic consult program that is used in various Veterans Affairs Medical Centers providing osteoporotic treatment to older men with fractures. Study focuses on geographic distribution, accessibility to patients, and the impact and evaluation of treatment.
Author(s): R.H. Lee, M. Pearson, K.W. Lyles, et al.
Location: Rural and Remote Health, 16, 3440
Date: 01/2016
Type: Document
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National Veteran Health Equity Report - FY 2013
Examines Veterans Affairs (VA) data concerning the sociodemographics, utilization patterns, and rates of diagnosed health conditions among various groups of veterans to monitor, evaluate and act on identified disparities in healthcare access, use, quality, and health outcomes. Chapter 6 developed by the VA Office of Rural Health provides detailed information comparing rural and urban data.
Additional links: Data Visualization Story
Date: 2016
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Veterans Health Administration
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Project ARCH: Initial Summary of Findings Relevant to the Choice Program
Provides an assessment of Project ARCH (Access Received Closer to Home), a congressionally legislated pilot program operated under the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Chief Business Office (CBO), and funded by the VHA Office of Rural Health (ORH). The focus of Project ARCH was to increase access to cost effective non-VA medical care. Results of this assessment may inform the implementation of the Veteran’s Choice program.
Author(s): Keith J. Mueller, Clint MacKinney, Fred Ullrich, et al.
Date: 12/2015
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Rural Policy Research Institute
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Resources and Capabilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs to Provide Timely and Accessible Care to Veterans
Provides an analysis of the current and future Veterans Affairs healthcare resources and capabilities in rural and urban areas. Focus is on fiscal resources, workforce, physical infrastructure, information technology, access to VA healthcare, challenges and enablers to access, healthcare quality, and policies to improve access to Veteran’s healthcare.
Date: 12/2015
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: RAND Corporation
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Current and Projected Characteristics and Unique Health Care Needs of the Patient Population Served by the Department of Veterans Affairs
Provides an analysis of the demographic characteristics and the healthcare needs of the present and projected U.S. Veteran population. Includes rural and urban comparisons in distribution, healthcare access, and medical conditions.
Date: 12/2015
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: RAND Corporation
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Disability and Poverty Rates among Rural Veterans Have Increased from 2008 to 2014
Chart showing the rates of disability and poverty for rural veterans compared to rural non-veterans, highlighting changes from 2008 to 2014.
Date: 11/2015
Type: Chart/Graph
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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American Indian and Alaska Native Veterans: 2013 American Community Survey
Compares American Indian and Alaska Native veterans with veterans of all other races in healthcare usage, public or private health insurance coverage, disability status, and service-connected disability status. Notes that statistics from this survey are estimates and differ from Veterans Administration figures, due to differences in definitions and limitations of survey data.
Date: 05/2015
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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Access to Health and Homeless Services for Rural Veterans
Recording and slides from a May 6, 2015 webinar that provides an overview of federal programs that provide healthcare and homeless services to veterans. Includes information on the Veterans Choice program. Also provides data on rural veterans and the rural homeless veteran population.
Additional links: Presentation Slides, Webinar Q&A Transcript, Webinar Recording
Author(s): Gina L. Capra, Roger Casey
Date: 05/2015
Type: Video/Multimedia
Sponsoring organization: Housing Assistance Council
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Study of Barriers for Women Veterans to VA Health Care: Final Report
An independent study of the use, preference, and barriers faced by rural and urban women veterans in accessing Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare to better understand their challenges in receiving care, and to inform Congress regarding the status of healthcare for women veterans.
Date: 04/2015
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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Travel Time and Attrition From VHA Care Among Women Veterans: How Far is Too Far?
Examines whether travel time impacts women veterans decisions to drop Veterans Health Administration care, with a comparison of the impact of travel time on rural and urban women veterans (see Figure 2).
Author(s): Sarah A. Friedman, Susan M. Frayne, Eric Berg, et al.
Location: Medical Care, 53(4 Suppl 1), S15-S22
Date: 04/2015
Type: Document
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Access to Behavioral Health Care for Geographically Remote Service Members and Dependents in the U.S.
A geospatial analysis using TRICARE and other data to determine access to and utilization of mental and behavioral healthcare services for veterans who reside in remote locations. Recommends two pathways for improving access to care: telehealth service and collaborative care between primary care and specialty behavioral care.
Author(s): Ryan Brown, Grant Marshall, Joshua Breslau, et al.
Date: 01/2015
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: RAND Corporation
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Authorities and Mechanisms for Purchased Care at the Department of Veterans Affairs
Presents an independent assessment of the Purchased Care component from the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014. Discusses the system used to fill in gaps in care for veterans that live in rural areas or far from a VA Medical Center (VAMC). Compares the VA's system to other payer models in the federal government.
Author(s): Michael D. Greenberg, Caroline Batka, Christine Buttorff, et al.
Date: 2015
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: RAND Corporation
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Behavioral Health and Service Use Among Civilian Wives of Service Members and Veterans
Analyzes rural-urban differences in behavioral health and service use among civilian wives of military veterans and service members.
Author(s): Joshua Breslau, Ryan Andrew Brown
Date: 2015
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: RAND Corporation
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Non-VA Medical Care Fact Sheet for Interested Providers
Provides information on how to become a healthcare provider for the Veterans Administration Patient-Center Community Care (PC3) program and/or the Veterans Choice program.
Date: 12/2014
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Veterans Health Administration
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Improving Access to Comprehensive Healthcare for Veterans
Summarizes findings from recent VA research related to healthcare access. Includes studies on telemental health services for rural Veterans with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), barriers for rural veterans at risk of suicide, and home-based primary care services for rural American Indian veterans who receive care from both VA and the Indian Health Service.
Date: 08/2014
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: VA Health Services Research & Development Service
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Rural Residents with Disabilities Less Likely to Get Colon Cancer Screening
Reports that rural residents with physical, cognitive, or hearing and vision disabilities are less likely to get preventive screenings and care when compared to those living in urban areas.
Date: 07/2014
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Veterans Health Administration's Office of Rural Health
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Information About the Office of Rural Health and Rural Veterans
Lists data and statistics related to rural veterans and the work of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Office of Rural Health (ORH).
Date: 05/2014
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Veterans Health Administration's Office of Rural Health
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Behavioral Health Coaching for Rural Veterans with Diabetes and Depression: A Patient Randomized Effectiveness Implementation Trial
Analyzes the relationship between depression and diabetes among veterans and its effect on behavioral health. Reports on a trial for rural veterans in Southeast Texas meant to measure the effects of the Health Outcomes through Patient Empowerment (HOPE) intervention. The goal of the program is to improve the mental and physical health of patients with complex comorbid medical conditions.
Author(s): Jeffrey Cully, Jessica Breland, Suzanne Robertson, et al.
Location: BMC Health Services Research, 14, 191
Date: 04/2014
Type: Document
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From Service to Shelter: Housing Veterans in Rural America
Describes housing needs, the effect of inadequate housing, and homelessness of rural veterans.
Author(s): Eric Oberdorfer, Keith Wiley
Date: 04/2014
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Housing Assistance Council
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Reducing Rural Suicide
Outlines how psychologists are finding innovative ways to reach out to people in isolated communities with specific focus on Native American and Veteran communities.
Author(s): Rebecca A. Clay
Location: APA Monitor on Psychology, 45(4)
Date: 04/2014
Type: Document
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Scheduled Telephone Visits in the Veterans Health Administration Patient-Centered Medical Home
Discusses the Veteran's Administration patient-centered medical home model, Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACT), which includes telephone visits to improve care access and efficiency.
Author(s): Nina R. Sperber, Heather A. King, Karen Steinhauser, et al.
Location: BMC Health Services Research, 14, 145
Date: 04/2014
Type: Document
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Rural Veterans: A Special Concern for Rural Health Advocates
Describes the special healthcare needs of rural veterans and offers recommendations to overcome them. Topics covered include: access to primary care, specialty care, physical therapy, women's health services, and mental health services with a focus on Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Author(s): J. Alison Alfers, Hilda Heady
Date: 02/2014
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Rural Health Association
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A Pilot Project to Improve Access to Telepsychotherapy at Rural Clinics
Describes the challenges and motivators regarding the implementation of a telemental health pilot project in rural outpatient clinics to improve access to mental health services for rural veterans.
Author(s): Geri Adler, Lonique R. Pritchett, Michael R. Kauth, Danielle Nadorff
Location: Telemedicine and e-Health, 2D(1), 83-85
Date: 01/2014
Type: Document
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Addressing the Health Care Needs of Rural Veterans: A Guide for State Offices of Rural Health
A manual for state offices of rural health to help them address the healthcare needs of rural veterans. Includes information about the Veterans Health Administration and the VA Office of Rural Health programs focused on rural veterans, statistics and facts about the health care needs of rural veterans, and suggested activities SORHs may participate in to support the healthcare needs of rural veterans.
Date: 01/2014
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health
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Health Care for Rural Veterans: The Example of Federally Qualified Health Centers
Reports that among veterans enrolled in VA healthcare, 41% reside in rural or highly rural communities. Discusses access to healthcare for rural veterans, policy considerations to encourage improved collaboration between the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), and highlights how FQHCs can provide healthcare services to veterans.
Author(s): Elayne J. Heisler, Sidath Viranga Panangala, Erin Bagalman
Date: 01/2014
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Congressional Research Service
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Evaluation of a Home-Based Colorectal Cancer Screening Intervention in a Rural State
Reports on a study to determine if an at-home colorectal cancer screening tool, the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT), was mailed to veterans in rural areas who were overdue for screening resulted in higher screening rates compared to mailing educational materials, or to no intervention.
Author(s): Mary E. Charlton, Michelle A. Mengeling, Thorvardur R. Halfdanarson, et al.
Location: Journal of Rural Health, 30(3), 322-332
Date: 2014
Type: Document
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New Opportunities and Challenges for Teleaudiology Within Department of Veterans Affairs
Provides an overview of teleaudiology and the delivery of audiological services through telemedicine practice for rural and inner urban areas. Includes discussion on how the Veterans Administration is researching and incorporating teleaudiology within its healthcare program.
Author(s): Peter G. Jacobs, Gabrielle H. Saunders
Location: Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development, 51(5), vii-xii
Date: 2014
Type: Document
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Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014
A fact sheet summarizing the major provisions of Public Law 113-146, (Choice Act) amended by Public Law 113-175, as a response to the healthcare access issues facing Veterans Affairs. This legislation includes provisions to improve access to healthcare from non-VA providers.
Date: 2014
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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Two VA Studies Examine the Effects of Home-Based Colorectal Cancer Screening and Telephone Follow-Up in a Rural State
Discusses two studies that examine home-based colorectal cancer screening in rural veterans who might otherwise have to travel a long distance for screening. Reports that the screening could be incorporated into practices of small rural and remote clinics and into the proactive approaches being adopted by the VA patient-aligned care teams.
Author(s): Mary E. Charlton, Michelle A. Mengeling, Thorvardur R. Halfdanarson, Nader M. Makki, et al.
Date: 2014
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Veterans Health Administration's Office of Rural Health
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VHA Facility Quality and Safety Report Fiscal Year 2012 Data
Provides quality and safety information and data on Veteran’s Health Affairs (VHA) outpatient and hospital settings, and provides data on the availability of services at VHA facilities. Contains a section on the special needs of Veterans who live in rural areas and includes a comparison of rural-urban outpatient care.
Date: 12/2013
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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Impact of Rural Residence and Health System Structure on Quality of Liver Care
A study of Veterans Health Administration (VHA) patients with Hepatitis C (HCV) to ascertain the extent that rural residency can impact access to HCV specialists and quality of liver care.
Author(s): Catherine Rongey, Hui Shen, Nathan Hamilton, et al.
Location: PLOS ONE, 8(12)
Date: 12/2013
Type: Document
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Rural Veterans at a Glance
An economic brief which highlights the millions of veterans living in rural areas. Discusses health related challenges both physical and psychological, the need to improve access to medical care in rural areas, employment, workforce, rural economy, jobs, and demographics.
Author(s): Tracey Farrigan, John Cromartie
Date: 11/2013
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Department of Agriculture
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Quality of Prostate Cancer Care Among Rural Men in the Veterans Health Administration
Analyzes the rural and urban differences in access to oncology resources and quality of care for men with prostate cancer, using the Veterans Affairs Central Cancer Registry to identify the patients and the Rural Urban Commuting Area (RUCA) codes to determine patient residence.
Author(s): Ted A. Skolarus, Stephanie Chan, Jeremy B. Shelton, et al.
Location: Cancer, 119(20), 3629-3635
Date: 10/2013
Type: Document
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Rural Vets: Their Barriers, Problems, Needs
Describes barriers, problems, and needs that rural veterans experience with a focus on healthcare, and identifies what can be done to help address these.
Author(s): John A. Gale, Hilda R. Heady
Location: Health Progress, 94(3), 49-51
Date: 05/2013
Type: Document
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Returning Home from Iraq and Afghanistan: Assessment of Readjustment Needs of Veterans, Service Members, and Their Families
Presents a comprehensive assessment of the physical, psychological, social, and economic effects of deployment on service members, veterans, their families, and their communities. Chapter 9 focuses on access and barriers to healthcare, particularly in rural areas.
Date: 03/2013
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Health and Medicine Division (HMD), National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
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Internet Connectivity Among Rural Alabama Veterans: Baseline Findings From the Alabama Veterans Rural Health Initiative Project
Examines the use of the internet to access Veterans Affairs (VA) programs by those who had not accessed or never enrolled in services in rural Alabama. Specific focus given to disparities based on geographic, social/economic, and racial/ethnic factors.
Author(s): Rebecca Allen, Rosanna Guadagno, Patricia Parmelee, et al.
Location: Rural and Remote Health, 12, 2138
Date: 01/2013
Type: Document
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Mental Health and Mental Health Care in Rural America: The Hope of Redesigned Primary Care
Discusses Veterans' mental heath treatment disparities between rural and nonrural residents.
Date: 01/2013
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Veterans Health Administration's Office of Rural Health
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Mixed-Methods Evaluation of a Telehealth Collaborative Care Program for Persons with HIV Infection in Rural Settings
Discusses the findings of the Iowa City Veterans Affairs Health Care System's implementation of a telehealth collaborative care program for veterans with HIV living in rural parts of Iowa and Illinois.
Author(s): Michael Ohl, Dena Dillon, Jane Moeckli, et al.
Date: 2013
Type: Document
Sponsoring organizations: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Rural Health Resource Center: Central Region
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A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial of a Depression and Disease Management Program Delivered by Telephone
Reports on the use of telephone administered psychotherapy as an effective means of treating rural veterans with a medical illness accompanied by depression whose treatment would otherwise be hampered by cost, social stigma, and travel barriers.
Author(s): Arwa Aburizik, Lilian Dindo, Peter J. Kaboli, Mary E. Charlton, Carolyn Turvey
Date: 2013
Type: Document
Sponsoring organizations: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Rural Health Resource Center: Central Region
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Improving Accessibility: VISN 11 Mobile Prosthetics Van Program
Describes a mobile program that provides prosthetic and orthotic services to veterans in areas of Michigan, Indiana, northwest Ohio, and eastern Illinois that did not previously offer them and that may be many miles away from the nearest veteran medical center (VAMC).
Author(s): Sherri DeLoof, Guadalupe Bravo, Ernest Howard, Michael Rilenge
Date: 2013
Type: Document
Sponsoring organizations: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Rural Health Resource Center: Central Region
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Unique Factors Rural VA Hospitals Face in Implementing Healthcare-associated Infection Prevention Initiatives
Summarizes results of a study that explored practices used to prevent healthcare-associated infections in VA hospitals and the unique factors these hospitals face in adopting such practices.
Author(s): Molly Harrod, Milisa Manojlovich, Christine P. Kowalski, Sanjay Saint, Sarah L. Krein
Date: 2013
Type: Document
Sponsoring organizations: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Rural Health Resource Center: Central Region
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Palliative Care Rural Initiative Dissemination Model and Implementation Guide
Includes tools, best practices, and lessons learned associated with implementing care coordination models to help rural community hospice organizations meet the needs of veterans. Created within a collaboration of the National Rural Health Resource Center and the Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 23 and designed to be replicated by other VISNs.
Date: 11/2012
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Rural Health Resource Center
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Regional Differences in Prescribing Quality among Elder Veterans and the Impact of Rural Residence
Characterizes variation in prescribing quality among older adults across geographic region, and to compare prescribing quality across rural versus urban residence.
Author(s): BC Lund, ME Charlton, MA Steinman, PJ Kaboli
Location: Journal of Rural Health, 29(2), 172-179
Date: 08/2012
Type: Document
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Characteristics of Rural Veterans 2010: Data from the American Community Survey
Outlines data and definitions regarding veterans living in rural communities. Compares veteran to non-veteran data and rural versus urban data on aspects including: age, gender, race/ethnicity, poverty, education, employment, and disability status.
Date: 07/2012
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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Treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Military and Veteran Populations: Initial Assessment
Report brief describes some of the available programs, like telehealth services in rural areas, to prevent, diagnose, treat, and rehabilitate those who have PTSD and encourages further research that can help improve PTSD care.
Date: 07/2012
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Health and Medicine Division (HMD), National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
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Vets Attracted to Rural Counties, Smaller Cities
Shows a map and charts with Census data indicating that Military veterans are more likely to live in rural and exurban communities. And vets who live in cities are much more likely to live in smaller urban areas.
Author(s): Bill Bishop
Date: 05/2012
Type: Document
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Echocardiogram Utilization Among Rural and Urban Veterans
Reports on a study of echocardiogram usage of veterans in urban, rural, and highly rural areas of the U.S. Analyzes data by sex, race, and comorbidity and looks at the distance of rural veterans to the nearest VA Medical Center (VAMC).
Author(s): Kingston Okrah, Mary Vaughan-Sarrazin, Peter Kaboli, Peter Cram
Location: Journal of Rural Health, 28(2), 211-220
Date: 03/2012
Type: Document
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The Rural Monitor: Services for Rural Veterans
Entire issue is devoted to services for rural veterans. Discusses medical foster homes and housing for veterans, rural veterans with PTSD, telehealth in rural areas, and getting help for families.
Location: Rural Monitor, 2012(Winter)
Date: 02/2012
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Rural Health Information Hub
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Serving Those Who Have Served: Educational Needs of Health Care Providers Working with Military Members, Veterans, and their Families
Discusses findings from a survey of rural and urban mental health and primary care providers, which explored providers' experience with and knowledge of the VA and Armed Forces personnel.
Author(s): Dean G. Kilpatrick, Connie L. Best, Daniel W. Smith, Harold Kudler, Vickey Cornelison-Grant
Date: 12/2011
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Veterans Health Administration's Office of Rural Health
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Transportation for America’s Veterans and Their Families
Discusses the challenges veterans face affecting their transportation options in rural and urban areas to access health and human service centers. Describes programs implemented to assist rural, disabled and homeless veterans access healthcare at VA facilities.
Date: 11/2011
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Community Transportation Association of America
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The Rural Veteran Outreach Toolkit
Toolkit focuses on increasing partnerships between the VA and rural communities with the goal of improving the quality of life for veterans who live in rural communities.
Date: 10/2011
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Veterans Health Administration's Office of Rural Health
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Rural vs. Urban Ambulatory Health Care Review
Examines evidence regarding potential disparities between rural and urban areas in healthcare provision and delivery, and how differences in health care may contribute to disparities in health outcomes of veterans that seek care in VA and non-VA health systems.
Author(s): Michele Spoont, Nancy Greer, Jenny Su
Date: 05/2011
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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Initiatives to Improve Access to Behavioral Health Services in the Veterans Affairs Health System
Discusses efforts by the Department of Veterans Affairs to improve access to care for veterans, particularly in behavioral health. Stresses the importance of veteran access to health provision in rural settings.
Author(s): Harold Kudler, Kristy Straits-Tröster, Mire Brancu
Location: North Carolina Medical Journal, 72(1), 40-42
Date: 01/2011
Type: Document
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Experiences of Rural Non-VA Providers in Treating Dual Care Veterans and the Development of Electronic Health Information Exchange Networks Between the Two Systems
Presents findings from two focus group discussions with rural non-VA (Veterans Administration) primary care providers to better understand their experience with treating dual care veterans, those who receive care from both VA and non-VA providers.
Author(s): Michelle A. Lampman, Keith J. Mueller
Location: Journal of Rural Social Sciences, 26(3), 201-219
Date: 2011
Type: Document
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Time Trends in Expenditures for Rural Veterans' Healthcare
Addresses rural-urban differences in medical spending trends over eleven years for Veterans Administration (VA) as well as non-VA care received by male veterans who used any VA services.
Author(s): Alan N. West, Todd A. Mackenzie
Location: Journal of Rural Social Sciences, 26(3), 181-200
Date: 2011
Type: Document
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PTSD Treatment-Seeking Among Rural Latino Combat Veterans: A Review of the Literature
Contains a review of literature regarding post-traumatic stress disorder treatment faced by rural Latino veterans.
Author(s): Michael R. Duke, Roland S. Moore, Genevieve M. Ames
Location: Journal of Rural Social Sciences, 26(3), 157-180
Date: 2011
Type: Document
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Addressing the Health Needs of Rural Native Veterans: Assessment and Recommendations
Provides an assessment of current challenges, barriers, and issues related to the healthcare needs of rural Native veterans and offers recommendations to improve healthcare for this population.
Author(s): Tim D. Noe, Carol E. Kaufman, Elizabeth A. Brooks, et al.
Location: Journal of Rural Social Sciences, 26(3), 137-156
Date: 2011
Type: Document
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Mental Health Status and Perceived Barriers to Seeking Treatment in Rural Reserve Component Veterans
Reports on National Guard and Reserve troops from the Appalachian Region in Pennsylvania who returned from deployment. Troops responded to a survey that assessed their demographics, mental health symptoms, help-seeking behaviors, barriers for not seeking treatment, deployment history, and stressors.
Author(s): Elizabeth A. Bennett, Michael Crabtree, Mary E. Schaffer, Thomas W. Britt
Date: 2011
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Southern Rural Sociological Association
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Transitioning to the Civilian Workforce: Issues Impacting the Reentry of Rural Women Veterans
Outlines the effects of military service on women veterans’ civilian employment prospects and discusses their access to healthcare benefits and other health related issues.
Author(s): Celia Renteria Szelwach, Jill Steinkogler, Ellen R. Badger, Ria Muttukumaru
Location: Journal of Rural Social Sciences, 26(3), 83-112
Date: 2011
Type: Document
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Rural Veterans: Invisible Heroes, Special People, Special Issues
Introduces a thematic issue focused on the healthcare needs and the health status of rural veterans.
Author(s): Hilda Heady
Location: Journal of Rural Social Sciences, 26(3), 1-13
Date: 2011
Type: Document
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The Health Needs of Rural Veterans
Describes the unique challenges that rural veterans face and outlines what is being done to help them overcome barriers to health care access. Commentary followed by two response articles.
Author(s): Mary Beth Skupien
Date: 11/2010
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: VA Health Services Research & Development Service
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Caregivers of Veterans: Serving on the Homefront
Assesses the needs of caregivers of veterans from combat eras dating from World War II to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Includes data on small towns and rural areas.
Date: 11/2010
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Alliance for Caregiving
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Overcoming Rural Health Care Barriers Through Innovative Wireless Health Technologies
Proposes that wireless health technologies can provide quality and accessible care to rural veterans. A statement for the Health Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Veterans Affairs.
Date: 06/2010
Type: Document
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Strategies for Suicide Prevention in Veterans
Presents research that explores various veteran suicide prevention strategies and how promising they might be. Strategies include programs for outreach, counseling, and treatment coordination. Addresses the difference in suicide prevalence among veterans in rural and urban areas.
Author(s): Paul Shekelle, Steven Bagley, Brett Munjas
Date: 01/2009
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: VA Health Services Research & Development Service
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Rural America and the South Have the Highest Percent of Veterans with Service-Related Disabilities
Presents data from the 2008 American Community Survey which shows that a higher number of disabled veterans reside in the South and in rural areas. In general, a higher number of veterans live in these areas and face additional challenges such as gaining access to care.
Author(s): Marybeth J. Mattingly, Michelle L. Stransky
Date: 2009
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Carsey School of Public Policy
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Thrive 2015: Office of Rural Health Annual Report
Provides an overview of the VA Office of Rural Health's programs and accomplishments in 2015 aimed to improve healthcare access for rural veterans. Includes statistics and data on rural veterans.
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Veterans Health Administration's Office of Rural Health
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Veterans Data Central
Provides veteran information and data by county or by metropolitan/outside metropolitan status. Topics covered include demographic and economic indicators, homelessness, housing characteristics, and Veterans Affairs housing and mortgage financing.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: Housing Assistance Council
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U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Locations
A directory of VA facilities, including benefit offices, Vet Centers, VA hospitals, and Community Based Outpatient Clinics.
Type: Directory
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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Veterans Choice Program
Webinar, presented March 3, 2015 by the Veterans Health Administration's Office of Rural Health on the Veterans Choice Program. Discusses the current status of rural veterans, an overview of the Veterans Choice Program, and the requirements for providers to participate. Includes presentation slides and resources for healthcare providers interested in participating in the program.
Type: Video/Multimedia
Sponsoring organization: Federal Office of Rural Health Policy
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CREATE: Improving Rural Veterans' Access/Engagement in Evidence-Based Mental Healthcare
Identifies projects to increase access to evidence-based mental health services delivered by the Veteran Administration's community-based outpatient clinics (CBOCs).
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: VA Health Services Research & Development Service
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Rural Health Training Through MyVeHU Campus
Provides a series of webinar trainings that are offered for education credit. Open to the public, but you must register for a MyVeHU username and password to view the trainings. Topics have specific rural health content and examples include chronic pain management, caregiver resources for aging rural veterans, post deployment care integration for rural combat veterans, facilitating co-managed care, rural community collaborations and veteran outreach as well as cultural competence and caring for veterans.
Type: Tutorial/Training
Sponsoring organization: Veterans Health Administration's Office of Rural Health
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VHA Office of Rural Health: Publications
Access peer-reviewed journal articles, presentations, issue briefs, fact sheets, among other types of publications addressing topics related to veteran health in rural areas.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: Veterans Health Administration's Office of Rural Health
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We Honor Veterans: Rural Veterans
Describes special considerations for delivering care to veterans in rural communities. Offers resources for more information.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
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Veterans Health Library
A library for providers to find health information focused on veterans in the form of health sheets, videos, and guides geared toward veterans, their family members, and caregivers.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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VHA Office of Rural Health Monthly Fact Sheets
Monthly fact sheets present summaries of policies and publications related to rural veterans.
Type: Journal/Newsletter
Sponsoring organization: Veterans Health Administration's Office of Rural Health
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Co-Managed Care Toolkit
Designed to address knowledge and communication gaps existing between VA healthcare teams and non-VA teams in cases where veterans utilize both types of providers. Designed to help create a care network for rural veterans.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: Veterans Health Administration's Office of Rural Health
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The Clergy Connection
Newsletter of the National VA Chaplain Center and Rural Clergy Training Program that covers the role of clergy in addressing mental health and reintegration needs of returning veterans.
Type: Journal/Newsletter
Sponsoring organization: Veterans Health Administration's Office of Rural Health
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VA Community Provider Toolkit
Delivers support, therapeutic tools, and resources to community providers treating veterans for mental health concerns.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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Affordable Housing for Rural Veterans
Provides rural organizations with the technical assistance, training, information, and financial resources they need to improve their ability to serve rural veterans.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: Housing Assistance Council
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National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics
Access to data, maps and projections on the veteran population nationally and by state, with some county-level information. Also offers data on utilization and expenditures related to VA benefits.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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Building Blocks for Cultural Integration in the Development and Establishment of Rural VA Telemental Health Clinics for Native Veterans
Offers an overview, plus suggestions and tips for setting up, operating, and maintaining telemental health (TMH) clinics for rural Native Veterans.
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Veterans Rural Health Resource Center: Western Region
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THRIVE Online
The Health and Resources Initiative for Veterans Everywhere (THRIVE) is designed to provide outreach and services to vulnerable and underserved veterans, including rural and homeless veterans. THRIVE Online is the educational arm of the program that provides videos of rural health experts and rural veterans, as well as a set of fact sheets.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: Veterans Health Administration's Office of Rural Health
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The Rural Connection
Quarterly newsletter of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Office of Rural Health (ORH). Reports on statistics, new projects, and programs within the VHA ORH. Highlights efforts underway to promote health and well-being in the rural Veteran population.
Type: Journal/Newsletter
Sponsoring organization: Veterans Health Administration's Office of Rural Health
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PubMed Search: Veterans and Rural Health
Searches PubMed's collection of journal article citations on the combined topics of veterans and rural health.
Type: Literature Search
Sponsoring organization: National Library of Medicine
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Healthcare for Homeless Veterans Programs by State
Directory of programs that address the healthcare needs of homeless veterans. Organized alphabetically by state and includes the District of Columbia. Listings offer the program name, location, full address, and phone number.
Type: Directory
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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National Resource Directory
Provides information on, and access to, services and resources for wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans, their families, families of the fallen, and those who support them from recovery and rehabilitation to community reintegration.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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Disabled American Veterans Hospital Service Coordinator Directory
State-by-state list of Hospital Service Coordinators (HSCs), their affiliated VA Medical Centers, and contact information. HSCs manage DAV transportation programs for veterans needing medical care.
Type: Directory
Sponsoring organization: Disabled American Veterans
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VA Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
Website helps faith-based and community organizations learn about the benefits, programs, and resources the VA offers to help them meet the needs of their communities.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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Veterans Health Administration Locations
Provides a map of the United States that is divided into the 23 Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISN) geographic regions. Users can click on each region to learn more about the network and its local facilities, including contact information for every VA location.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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Resources on Substance Abuse and Mental Health for Military Families
Offers information to returning veterans on accessing mental health and substance abuse services and for military families on coping with trauma.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
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VA Geriatrics and Extended Care
Provides information on Veterans Health Administration geriatrics and extended care, hospice and palliative care, long-term care, and home and community-based services.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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Additional resources are available related to this guide. See the full list of resources by topic for:


Last Updated: 12/14/2017