VA transitions to virtual care for local veterans

WHITE CITY, Ore.– Local VA facilities have been testing veterans and staff who may have coronavirus. While no cases have been confirmed, the VA says its prepared to help any veterans in need.

“We understand that there is so much confusion right now,” said Christina Cellura, chief of staff for the Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center and Clinics. “We are really doing our best to do active outreach number one.”

Transitions are being implemented at SORCC in response to coronavirus. Following CDC guidelines, it’s limiting the time staff spends with veterans in person.

“Many veterans have diabetes, chronic lung conditions, cardiac diseases so just by that nature it places them at high risk,” said Cellura.

Cellura says the clinics and medical center are providing virtual care for veterans. The facility serves thousands and many still need the individual support the v-a provides.

“We are concerned about our elderly veteran population and our younger population with socialized isolation,” said Cellura. “Many of our veterans do have behavioral health needs and so we just want to be mindful that we are paying attention to that.”

Veterans can still go to the clinics to get help but it’s not specialized care for coronavirus patients. Cellura says there is more rigorous testing being done to ensure they’re keeping coronavirus off campuses. If someone is flagged, they’ll be connected with a primary care team who will work with that person individually and set them up for virtual care.

“We touch base with them. We get their name and number,” said Cellura. “See what their need is, make sure they have access to medications, food.”

So far, no cases have come back positive but Cellura says if a veteran shows severe coronavirus symptoms they’ll be directed to go straight to emergency care. Otherwise, they’re working to help veterans get set up with phones and software that will allow them to work with patients in their homes, increasing the level of social distancing.

SORCC says veterans are encouraged to call the VA in White City to receive help setting up virtual care. They want to remind anyone that may have symptoms to isolate and call if they can before coming to the VA.

Skip to content