Veterans Call VA Video Connect for Tele-Urgent Care ‘A Lifesaver’

Navy Veteran on computer screen, speaking to woman provider by video

Earlier this year, Navy Veteran John Bartlett, 81, of Hawaii was dry heaving and experiencing severe pain. On the same night near Palo Alto, World War II Navy Veteran Bill Scilacci, 97, was experiencing a lot of pain during his recovery from back surgery. Despite their vastly different locations, both Veterans received assistance in the same unexpected way: The VA Sierra Pacific Network’s (VISN 21) new Tele-Urgent Care program.

After calling their local VA and being screened, both Bartlett and Scilacci were connected with Dr. Janeen Smith, an emergency department physician from the San Francisco VA Health Care System who works with the VISN 21 program. Dr. Smith was able to assist and provide the care they needed over video chat through VA Video Connect.

“It was kind of a window into something new,” said Scilacci. 

Learn more about VA’s Tele-Urgent Care initiatives in this blog on VAntage Point.