“To bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan.”Abraham Lincoln
Utah is the 13th largest state in the country, spanning over 82,898 square miles. While large geographically, Utah is relatively small in terms of population with only 3,101,833 people and over 129,748 veterans, 121,411 males and 8,337 females. Over 25% (33,438) of Utah’s veterans live in designated rural and frontier counties and a majority of those veterans live in counties over 250 miles from the VA Health System located in Salt Lake City.
The Office of Primary Care and Rural Health (OPCRH) is proud to announce the Rural Veterans Health Access Program (RVHAP) whose purpose over the three-year period is to:
- Create a Utah Rural Veteran Coalition (URVC) consisting of CAHs, RHCs, FQHCs, and Veteran Resource Centers among others, in an effort to create a sustainable communication network between rural organizations providing and coordinating care to rural veterans and the VA. The coalition would meet quarterly to monitor projects, share data, and increase awareness of each facility’s resources.
- Conduct a statewide needs assessment to collect data on resources, programs, best practices, and organizations currently available to assist veterans in all rural and urban counties.
- Provide data driven trainings identified in the needs assessment to rural hospitals and clinics on best practices and awareness of resources available to veterans who utilize their facilities.
- Integrate the National Telemental Health HUB program into rural hospitals and clinics.
- Disseminate information collected through the statewide needs assessment and URVC to produce training manuals, resource guides, conferences and sustainable practice techniques for all rural and urban facilities to utilize when treating and coordinating care for their veteran population.
Health System Specialist
coltongordon @ utah.gov