VA Maine Healthcare System
Vet Center Community Outreach Vehicle
Maine received the first in a fleet of 50 new mobile community outreach vehicles (COV) for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Vet Center outreach program. Maine has two COVs based in Lewiston and Caribou which will conduct counseling and outreach services for Maine veterans.
The 38-foot motor coaches, which have spaces for confidentialing counseling, will carry Vet Center counselors and outreach workers to events and activities to reach veterans in broad geographic areas, supplementing VA's current 232 Vet Centers (271 by the end of 2009). The Community Outreach Vehicles will be utilized to provide VA and Vet Center outreach, information and direct readjustment counseling to veterans, separating service members and their families in their home communities including active military, reserve and National Guard demobilization activities.
The vehicles have been maximized for multi-use applications by adding portable exam tables that can be configured within the existing confidential counseling areas to provide limited primary care capability. Additionally, the installation of rear doors, ramps, and litter racks within the vehicle provide emergency patient evacuation capability. Lastly, the addition of locked storage space and refrigeration facilitate medication storage during primary care utilization.
Vet Centers, operated by VA's Readjustment Counseling Service, provide non-medical readjustment counseling in easily accessible, consumer-oriented facilities, addessing the social and economic dimensions of post-war needs. This includes psychological counseling for traumatic military-related experiences and family counseling when needed for the veteran's readjustment.
Vet Center team leaders have developed an outreach plan for use of the vehicle within the state of Maine, not limited to the traditional catchment area of that particular Vet Center.