At a recent U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, Connected Care representatives explained VA's new Digital Divide Consult service for Veterans who lack internet access or who cannot afford newer technology.
"We recognized, because of the digital divide, that if we didn't help them with the technology, that they were not going to be able to participate (in VA Telehealth)," said Dr. Kevin Galpin, Connected Care Executive Director of Telehealth Services. "Now, at all of our medical centers, if a provider identifies a Veteran in that category, they can refer the Veteran to social workers who have now been trained to help Veterans overcome the digital divide."
Since the beginning of the pandemic, VA has distributed more than 84,000 iPads through the Digital Divide Consult. Social workers also have helped Veterans apply for federal subsidies to take advantage of the FCC Lifeline program and the Emergency Broadband Benefit.