Veteran Ronald Bordenaro, 89, has a chance to see his doctor at South Chicago Community Medical Center (SCMC) in South Hollywood, Illinois. The clinic has recently begun participating in a pilot program with the U.S. Department of Health to enable Bordinaro to make virtual visits. Bordanaro (pictured above) lives at the South Illinois Community Health Center, where Kitty Thomas Jr. works on the patient-centric nursing team. As virtual visits become more and more frequent due to COVID-19, Thomas sees the pilot programs as an opportunity to use them.
Using VA Video Connect is like calling your children and grandchildren or playing video games, and veterans just pick it up, "Thomas said. Thomas also noted that nurses can see through video interviews if a veteran is applying his blood pressure cuff correctly and helping fix the problem. Make sure you get a link to VA Video Connect and sign up for your appointment.
The PACT clinic is still open for face-to-face appointments, and staff are encouraging veterans to stay if they can do tasks on video. VA nurse Loretta Gorecki has been appointed as a licensed general practitioner to advocate for the blood pressure program. The nurse on Thomas' team, who visits veterans like Bordenaro on video visits, said people have responded positively to virtual care. Compare this to a patient's blood pressure, which rises during their hospital stay.