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February 11th, 2020

Virtual living roomThe American Legion, Post 19 in Bristol, Vermont is now the proud home of the nation’s second “Virtual Living Room®,” a space where veterans can use a robust fiber-optic broadband connection to access VA telehealth services. The Virtual Living Room® is a comfortable, private space housed within the American Legion, Post 19 in Bristol and enables local veterans to access telehealth appointments with their VA healthcare provider. We all know that getting easy, convenient access  can sometimes be a challenge for our veterans in many rural communities. The Virtual Living Room® provides a viable option for Veterans to access the VA telehealth system in a convenient, comfortable, private setting.

Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom (WCVT) enabled the Virtual Living Room® with a high-speed fiber-optic Internet connection capable of serving up to one gigabit per second. According to Eric Haskin, President/CEO of Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom, “We are very proud to be working with our community partners to support our local Veterans here in Vermont.  I served in the United States Navy aboard the aircraft carrier USS Constellation (CV-64) and understand firsthand the challenges our veterans face.  This is one way we can give back to our local communities and support our veterans by leveraging our gigabit fiber-optic network to help expand access to the VA’s ever expanding telehealth initiatives.”

The Virtual Living Room® was made possible through an innovative partnership between Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom (WCVT), the Foundation for Rural Service (FRS), CoBank, the White River Junction VA Healthcare System, and the American Legion Post 19.  This collaboration is a perfect example of how crucial community partnerships are in meeting the needs of veterans in our rural communities.