Our goal is to connect physicians to patients and healthcare organizations in remote and underserved areas. Through a distributed network of high-definition quality video, audio and peripheral equipment, PTS hopes to establish a powerful link to doctors, hospitals and clinics to bring expert consultation instantly to areas typically lacking the resources to provide that expertise.
Imagine you are about to be discharged from the military, having served in posts such as Afghanistan or Iraq. You have been the primary breadwinner for your spouse and children, and will receive your final military paycheck in only 30 days. You may have returned from combat duty with physical injuries and emotional traumas, require ongoing medical care but have few financial resources, and live far from a military base or hospital. What do you do now? Partners for Telehealth Solutions can help.
Partners for Telehealth Solutions will provide telehealth services to veterans who are awaiting their benefits determination from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and who often, due to limited financial resources, cannot access medical services. Using telemedicine technologies reduces travel time and related stresses for the vet. Such services offer vets the access to providers that might not be available otherwise, as well as medical services without the need to travel long distances.
Partners for Telehealth Solutions Solutions is a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization designed to serve veterans in the Metropolitan Washington DC area. We are committed to enhancing the quality of life for veterans and their families by ensuring their access to high-quality healthcare. We help vets file claims, provide them with cell phones through our Cellaphone program and operate The Linen Closet to provide them with everyday necessities as they transition back to civilian life.
When Staff Sergeant Michael Johnson retired from active duty in 2004, he was suffering from a variety of medical conditions: back, knee, and hip pain; refractory migraines; and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
These conditions were due to injuries Michael sustained during his 20 years of military service in the in Army Infantry.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or the VA, provides tax-free monetary benefits, as well as housing and insurance benefits, to veterans with disabilities resulting from diseases or injuries incurred during active military service. But to receive these benefits, veterans must file lengthy and complicated claims.
Due to long backlogs, it can take up to three years for a veteran to receive his or her benefits determination — and this interim period often results in homelessness, alcohol/chemical dependency, and even suicide.
It took nine years for Michael to receive a full evaluation of his symptoms, and, ultimately, a 100 percent disability rating. During that time, he saw how difficult it was for other veterans with health issues to submit claims and receive services if they couldn’t afford to pay out-of-pocket.
Unfortunately, many veterans never receive favorable responses to their disability claims. In 2017, for example, the U.S. Government Accountability Office reported that the VA denies more than 80 percent of claims for Gulf War-associated illnesses.
“When the VA kicks back a claim, but doesn’t provide detailed information as to why the claim wasn’t awarded, this frustrates veterans,” says Michael. “A lot of vets won’t file an appeal, because the process is so strenuous; it really takes a toll. A guy with mental health issues, he has no patience for this — and he can become more prone to suicidal thoughts or actions.”
This is where Partners for Telehealth Solutions comes in — and why we are working to make a difference.
“I had to fight for it; it was definitely not easy,” Michael says of his struggle to receive his VA disability benefits. “For me, the turning point came when a Vietnam veteran named Henry Mack finally sat me down and told me exactly how to put together my claim.”
Now Michael wants to help other soldiers receive the benefits they have earned, and to which they are entitled. “What I want to do,” he says, “is help veterans help themselves. I can do this by teaching them how to do research, how to put their claim together by telling their story.”
For years, Michael has supported his fellow soldiers through his involvement with organizations such as the Vietnam Veterans Association, the Buffalo Soldiers Association, the Army Old Guard Association, Disabled American Veterans and the Virginia Rural Health Committee. Now he wants to extend that support even further.
“I’m putting this together because I know what vets go through,” says Michael, Founder of Partners for Telehealth Solutions. “And if they fought for this country, this country should support them in whatever they need.”
There are many ways to help support PTS. Your monetary gift can help renovate our mobile claims unit that helps veterans in remote areas file their disability claims. Too much stuff in your closet? The Linen Closet supplies veterans with the basic necessities of living as they transition back to civilian life. And if you have an extra cell phone, laptop, smartphone, tablet or MP3 player, consider donating it to a veteran via our CellaPhone program.
Our new mobile claims bus needs to be renovated so that we can go to remote areas where transportation is scare and help veterans file their claims. Click on the donate button for details.
Veterans need basic necessities as they reestablish themselves into civilian life. If you would like to help, please click on the Donate button for a list of items most needed.
Donate your working or non working cell phone, tablet, laptop, smartphone or MP3 player to help telehealth and telemedicine reach a veteran.
Commemorating the military men and women who have served and are serving this great nation. You can acknowledge a solider currently deployed by clicking on the yellow ribbon, pay tribute to someone who retired from the military by clicking on the wreath and donate a gift in memory of a soldier who didn’t make it home by clicking on the boot. Click on the wall for more details.
Your donation will help save a life. It enables the equipment, counselors, training, and programs to help veterans on the brink.