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VA Montana Health Care System

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Program gives Veterans more transportation options

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Veterans Transportation Service van

VA Montana is expected to receive 11 vans as the new Veterans Transportation Service program gets underway. Montana is one of 47 sites nationwide to use the VTS program, which is designed to provide transportation for Veterans living in rural states and those who have mobility challenges.

By Mike Molina
Friday, August 5, 2011

Montana Veterans will soon have more ways to get to and from their health care appointments.

The Department of Veterans Affairs recently announced VA Montana Health Care System as one of 47 sites nationwide to use the Veterans Transportation Service (VTS) program.

Funding for the program in Montana is expected to be more than $400,000 this year, and will be used to purchase seven vans for VA Montana Health Care System, including four wheelchair accessible vans. Through 2013, the program will increase its Montana fleet to 11 vans and create 13 new jobs, including 12 drivers at locations throughout the state and a mobility manager position at the Fort Harrison campus.

"Access to care for our Veterans remains one of our top priorities," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.  "We continue to look for ways to leverage technology to improve access and engage Veterans.  Even the best care anywhere will have no impact unless our Veterans can make it in to their appointments."

VTS focuses on helping Veterans overcome transportation barriers to treatment, especially Veterans who are visually impaired, elderly, or immobilized due to disease or disability, and those living in rural and highly rural areas.   

The program increases transportation resources and options for Veterans, but also focuses on improving efficiency of existing transportation resources through use of 21st Century technology including ridesharing software and GPS units.