Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center
Traveling Veteran Program
These days, Americans frequently travel for extended periods of time, for work, for pleasure, or for any number of other reasons. VA commits to all enrolled Veterans who receive their health care from the department that they will receive the same consistent level of care, either at their local VA health care facility or at an alternate VA facility.
VA’s Traveling Veteran program, launched at Wilkes-Barre in 2015, ensures traveling Veterans have uninterrupted access to care wherever they are.
Veterans who know they will be traveling are asked to tell their health care provider where and when they will be going, and any specific care concerns they may have. The provider then collaborates with the facility’s Traveling Veteran Program Coordinator (TVC) to ensure any pending clinical orders, such as blood work, are performed at a location near the Veteran’s travel destination.
Ann Kwiatkowski is Wilkes-Barre’s TVC. She has served more than a hundred Veterans since the program began. She and other TVC’s throughout the nation answer care coordination questions, coordinate appointments, and help Veterans navigate activities at unfamiliar locations. They work with coordinators to ensure the seamless management and delivery of medically necessary care for traveling Veterans.
A recent survey of Veterans using the program resulted in overwhelmingly positive comments about the convenience of having a single point of contact in the TVC, and about the care they received while traveling. Those who participated in Wilkes-Barre said the program also offered them the peace of mind that their needs will be met and their care will be seamlessly coordinated.
Although the Traveling Veteran Program addresses a very specific group of Veterans, the program is very helpful in increasing access to care for those Veterans, and improving Veterans’ experience with VA health care.