AVALON, JULY 28,2016 – Local Veterans may now choose a Catalina Island Medical Center physician for their Primary Care needs rather than traveling across the channel to the VA facility in Long Beach. In addition, Primary Care, Neurology and Mental Health services will be available for vets at CIMC through telehealth videoconferencing with Long Beach VA providers. Veterans Living on the Island may be eligible for the VA Choice Program and elect to receive their Primary Care from a CIMC physician rather than a VA mainland provider. Local veterans can also be referred by their Primary Care Provider to the VA Telehealth Program to schedule services available on Catalina. Once a Catalina Veteran is found eligible and opts into the CHOICE program, the cost of necessary lab work, X-rays, or other ancillary services conducted at CIMC may be covered by the CHOICE program. If a physician orders lab work or other ancillary services for a Veteran who has not yet been enrolled in the CHOICE program, the patient will be referred to the appropriate person in the VA system to determine Choice eligibility.
Catalina Island has approximately 140 residents who are veterans. Potentially any veteran eligible for VA health care and who resides on the Island, would fall under a travel hardship that includes travel over a body of water.
Getting an Appointment: The Medical Group Office at CIMC has appointments available for primary care Monday through Friday, from 8 :00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In order to obtain an appointment with CIMC via the Choice Program, please contact 1-866-606-8198 for assistance. VA Tele-health program’s dates of service will consist of one day per month, initially to be scheduled on a Tuesday. Additional days of service each month will be added as needed and as space and staff are available, as determined by VALBHS program staff, in cooperation with Amy Mordaa, CIMC Clinic Manager. To schedule a Tele-Health appointment, patients can call the clinic manager who will then notify the appropriate VA service.
Once approved, patients will register at CIMC Medical Group Office reception desk for all VA Telehealth appointments. On the date of initial service the patient should arrive at least 30-minutes before the scheduled appointment time to sign consent forms, complete a baseline questionnaire and to have vital signs taken by the Telehealth LVN, Felicia Lane.
ARCH – “Access Received Closer to Home” is one of the goal programs for all veterans care according to Senators Bernie Sanders (Vermont-Independent) and Rep. Jeff Miller (Florida-Republican) who co-chair the Senate and House Veterans’ Affairs Committees.
Catalina Island Medical Center’s mission is to provide quality health care to each individual and improve the overall health of our community.