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Montana VA encourages veterans to bring questions to tele-town hall

Posted at 5:21 PM, Jun 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-11 10:29:13-04

HELENA — The Montana VA Health Care System is inviting veterans to bring their questions to a tele-town hall event Wednesday night.

The town hall begins at 5:30 p.m. and runs until 6:30 p.m. Veterans can participate by calling (866) 478-3358.

VA leaders say they’re holding the event as an alternative way to engage with the veterans they serve. COVID-19 precautions have limited the in-person meetings they can hold.

“We’ve been itching to be able to hear from our veterans,” said Dr. JP Maganito, the Montana VA’s chief of staff.

Leaders will begin Wednesday’s event by talking about their response to COVID-19, including the steps that have been taken to protect staff and patients’ health. Maganito said they have been able to continue many of their services through telemedicine, and that they are looking at how to again expand their services as Montana enters Phase 2 of the state reopening plan.

Maganito said the most important part of the town hall will be hearing directly from veterans about their experiences with the health care system.

“I want to hear from them, from the worst-case scenarios all the way up to the best-case scenarios,” he said. “I want to hear from every veteran that may be having some barriers, because our goal is to remove those barriers at all cost.”

The tele-town hall is open to any veterans in Montana or who use the Montana VA’s services. Leaders say veterans can call in at any time during the hour-long event, though they recommended calling early to hear the full presentation.

The Montana VA serves more than 47,000 veterans, with almost 1,200 staff members across 17 sites of care.