FRS grant connects veterans to VA telehealth opportunities
Lisa Cope, general manager and CEO of Ben Lomand Connect, was a recent guest on the podcast “Lead Tennessee Radio.” The show is produced by the Tennessee Broadband Association.
In this episode, Cope discussed how an innovative partnership created the state’s first “Virtual Living Room®” — a space for military veterans to participate in telehealth appointments with their VA health care provider through Ben Lomand Connect’s fiber-optic broadband network.
“The Virtual Living Room®” is located at the American Legion Post, 207 in Spencer, Tennessee, where veterans can connect with health care officials at the Alvin C. York VA Medical Center in Murfreesboro.
Cope said Van Buren County has a 10% veteran population and is an hour and a half to the nearest VA clinic.
“It just really resonated with me what a valuable resource this would be for veterans in our service area,” says Cope.
The project was made possible by a $5,000 grant from the Foundation for Rural Service, which was used to purchase computer equipment and set up a comfortable, private space that meets program guidelines. Virtual Living Rooms® can be installed at local libraries, churches, community centers, or other locations unique to each rural area.
Communities located more than an hour away from a VA clinic or hospital are encouraged to apply.
“This is an opportunity for us to help make a difference in our communities for those individuals who had such a profound impact through their service of our country,” she said.
For more information about the grant, visit the Foundation for Rural Service website.
The “Lead Tennessee Radio” podcast is an opportunity to discuss issues facing Tennessee with state leaders and lawmakers. Past episodes feature House Speaker Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville; Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, R-Oak Ridge; House Majority Leader William Lamberth, R-Portland; Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson, R-Franklin; and many more.
“The cooperative and independent telecommunications companies who comprise the TNBA are working hard to ensure that everyone in rural Tennessee has access to this life-changing technology,” said Knowles. “This podcast is a great opportunity to have conversations with state and industry leaders who are on the front lines working for a connected Tennessee.”
“Lead Tennessee Radio” can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Play, as well as on the Tennessee Broadband Association website.