Context: The challenge of providing meaningful health care services to veterans living in rural communities is a major public health concern that involves redefining the traditional facility-based model of care delivery employed in urban areas.
Purpose: This paper describes the steps of a demonstration project, the Elko Telehealth Outreach Clinic. The clinic, located in Elko, Nevada, was created to meet the health care needs of veterans who expressed a desire for greater access to VA services.
Methods: The Elko Telehealth Outreach Clinic is a specific example of the real-life implementation of the community-as-partner model as an operational framework for coordinating local, regional, and VA resources. The Elko Clinic provides a limited set of health care services including medication management, health education, prescription refills, routine lab tests, and specialty services through telehealth.
Findings: From December 2006 to December 2007, a total of 84 unique veterans received health care services through the Elko Clinic.
Conclusions: Our findings support the usefulness of an expanded community-as-partner model to guide a process for addressing the health care needs of veterans in Elko, Nevada, and they have implications for the development and maintenance of outreach clinics in other rural settings.