Battle Creek VA Medical Center
Care in the Convenience of Home
Veterans can now get the care they need without leaving home. The Battle Creek VA Medical Center has provided physical therapy services to help Veterans improve their ability to move, manage pain, restore function and prevent disability for decades. Now our physical therapists can improve the quality of life for our Veterans online through Virtual Video Conferencing (VVC). They can assess the Veterans’ needs, walk them through prescribed exercises, and educate them on healthy living all while the Veteran remains in their home.
William Sharp joined the Air Force in 1965, flew helicopters during two tours in Vietnam, and was a flight instructor at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, AZ. “I’ve been coming to the VA since I got out in 1973,” said Sharp. “This is only my third virtual visit, and I’m very comfortable with it. I’ve got no complaints so far.”
VVC is really taking off and Veterans appreciate the convenience. Our team of 11 physical therapists and 6 physical therapist assistants quickly adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions by using VVC. They immediately expanded to virtual physical therapy appointments to assure safety while continuing to provide quality, essential Veteran Care. Kara Rowley, Physical Therapist at the Wyoming Community Based Outpatient Clinic is thankful for this new technology. “I was setting up my very first Virtual visit last spring when the pandemic restrictions shut down our outpatient visits,” said Rowley. “I was happy to be able to offer our Veterans something as an alternative to cancellations.
The physical therapy team currently offers 250- 300 virtual outpatient appointments each month, accounting for over 30% of their current workload. We still offer Face-to-Face appointments to residents of the CLC, IMH, acute care units and for outpatients when deemed necessary for the best outcome.
As the COVID-19 vaccine becomes widely distributed and restrictions are lifted, virtual care will remain a powerful tool for delivering quality physical therapy to Veterans. Our team will continue to meet the Veteran’s needs, offering virtual care for Veteran follow up appointments, group classes and for those Veterans who are challenged by travel to either the Battle Creek or Wyoming campus.