VA TeleCardiology Program Saves Rural Veteran 270 Miles of Travel

Clinician on a video appointment with a Veteran.

To get cardiac care in-person, 79-year-old Navy Veteran Jerry Roberts would have to drive about 300 miles from his home in Mercer, Wisconsin, to the Milwaukee VA Medical Center. Instead, he travels about 30 miles to a VA clinic in Ironwood, Michigan, where a doctor in Milwaukee examines him remotely via the VA TeleCardiology program.

The video-teleconferencing system used by the TeleCardiology program connects a patient and nurse at a remote location with a VA doctor at the other end. Dr. Nicole Lohr, a Milwaukee VA cardiologist, explained, “I put these headphones on and the nurse on the other end has a stethoscope that’s hooked up to the computer that then transmits breath sounds, heart sounds.”

For Roberts, the telehealth program makes local cardiac care possible. “I think it’s great that they came up with that; otherwise, it’s a long, long ways away. I’d recommend it to anybody.”

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