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Telehealth Occupational Therapy Program Bridges Gap for Veterans in Rural Communities

Woman uses her tablet on a virtual call to show her living room.

Veterans leaving a care facility and returning home may need the assistance of occupational therapy (OT) services to adjust their living space or lifestyle to ensure their safety and independence. Those who live in rural areas, however, don’t always have access to such services. VA’s new Integrated TeleOT program is bridging that gap.

Funded by the Office of Rural Health, Integrated TeleOT is based in the Cincinnati VA Medical Center and the VA Ann Arbor Health Care System. The program currently serves Veterans in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and Michigan, and VA is looking to expand to other locations.

Similar to in-person OT, Integrated TeleOT offers a broad range of virtual health and well-being services. Each Veteran’s experience with the program may look different because Integrated TeleOT delivers care that is tailored for specific needs and situations.

“We can do pretty much anything within our scope of practice,” said Jamie Basch, Integrated TeleOT’s program coordinator. “Mostly, it has been imminent home safety needs that are keeping people from navigating and aging in their home safely.”

Read more on VA News.