Tele-health has been a priority at VA and we’ve made great strides in the care we can offer Veterans. From video conferencing between physician and patient to our mobile app “Annie.” I’ve personally used mobile apps and digital platforms to connect with my therapist. The convenience helps preserve the valuable resource of time and the comfort allows patients to receive the care they need with less stress on their daily lives. VA’s efforts in using technology to reach and care for Veterans has been grouped under our Office of Connected Care.

The Office of Connected Care focuses on improving health care through technology by engaging Veterans and care teams outside of traditional health care visits. By bringing together VA digital health technologies under one umbrella, the Office of Connected Care is enhancing health care coordination across VA and supporting Veterans’ participation in their own care.

This week I talk with Dr. Jennifer MacDonald, Director of Clinical Innovations and Education, VHA Connected Care. She shares her time in the military, becoming a doctor, and how VA is using technology to care for Veterans at a distance. We’ll cover My HealtheVet, VA Telehealth Services, VA Mobile, and more.

About Dr. MacDonald:

Dr. Jennifer MacDonald is new member of the Veterans Health Administration’s Office of Connected Care team and is leading the charge for greater adoption of many VA-developed, clinical-facing mobile applications. She is a practicing Family Medicine physician and U.S. Army Veteran experienced in leading complex system transformation and dedicated to patient, family, and provider empowerment through the strategic delivery of technology-enabled, high quality, equitable care.

Prior to joining VHA, Dr. MacDonald served as a White House Fellow and Advisor to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, where she led efforts to advance global health security, immigration detention health system reform, community resilience to counter violent extremism, and non-traditional aviation technology policy. She served 11 years in the Minnesota Army National Guard and deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, earning a Bronze Star for high profile mission achievement and volunteer humanitarian medical work. She completed her Family Medicine training at the University of California, Los Angeles, and medical school at the University of Minnesota.

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Published on May. 16, 2018

Estimated reading time is 2 min.

Views to date: 237


  1. Max Hrd Review May 22, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    I enjoy what you guys are up too. This kind of clever work and reporting!

    Keep up the wonderful works guys I’ve you guys to my own blogroll.

  2. Leonard Halleen May 18, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    The Olin E. Teague Veterans Hospital, Mental Health successes, regarding PTSD is non-existent!!!
    I would like to know why!!!

  3. Leonard Halleen May 18, 2018 at 11:56 am

    This all sounds good but it seems to be all whitewashed. What I mean is that all the new innovations that the VA has created is not really getting to the Veterans. Let me give you some examples of my VA experiences in the last 7 years, since I retired.
    I have been through 4 PCM’s and then I smartened up and went to Scott and White for my health care. I was mistreated by three of them, 2 of which were from India. This is ancient history now. Mental Health is what I want to address. Mental Health at the VA is abominable. I have been through 5 mental health providers, I think maybe more. Some of which were, again, Indian. My current practitioner, her and her husband both practice in the same department. I use the female because the husband acted like he couldn’t be bothered with another veteran, I’m sorry, but most of the doctors I have encountered who are from the middle east act in this manner. They DON’T like VETERANS!!! Patient advocacy is a non-starter. All they can do is change you to a different doctor. From personal experience it is like jumping from the frying pan into the fire!!! What I don’t understand is, why is a psychiatrist only a pain management practitioner. When I wanted to address personal problems with my psychiatrist, which she asked about, and then when I started to divulge personal issues, after having to start and stop several times due to her not understanding certain words, she shut me down referring me to a clinical therapist. I had one appointment and then he cancelled the last two because he is retiring. Why are we paying for two separate occupations when only one should do?

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