Marine veteran Kenneth Schmitt and RN Farrah Mosely during a home based primary care visit in Elkhorn, Wisconsin.

It used to be difficult for Marine Veteran Kenneth Schmitt to load his wheelchair into his car and drive to the nearest VA facility. He no longer drives, and now receives VA medical care through the VA home based primary care program.

Angela Gard, assistant nurse manager of community-based care at the Milwaukee VA Medical Center, said home based primary care allows Veterans to stay in familiar and comfortable surroundings, remain functional and maintain quality of life.

A nursing home alternative

“We try to keep people in their houses longer instead of going to a nursing home,” she said. “They’ve lived there forever. It’s not very often that they want to move.”

Mosley does home based primary care from the Union Grove VA clinic.

Schmitt, who lives in rural Wisconsin, receives his primary care at home through the Union Grove VA Clinic. The clinic, located about 40 miles south of Milwaukee, serves about 3,500 Veterans a year as they face the challenges of disability, aging and chronic disease.

“It works really well for Mr. Schmitt, who lives out in the country,” said Farrah Mosley, a registered nurse based at the Union Grove clinic.

“For example, Mr. Schmitt is a diabetic,” Mosley said. “So, the dietician comes in and completes a nutrition assessment and collaborates with the Veteran to develop a plan of care with goals and outcomes. He has done really well with it and he has really brought his numbers down.”

Schmitt said he appreciates the care and the convenience offered by the program now that he doesn’t drive.

“I have been without a license for almost two years now,” Schmitt said. “Before that I had a power wheelchair that I loaded in my car, but it was so stressful. Even if someone was trying to help, it would just wear me down. By the time I would get back home, I was done for. Takes away a lot of stress.”

Learn more about VA home based primary care.

Jim Hoehn and Benjamin Slane are public relations officers with the Milwaukee VA Medical Center Public Affairs Office.

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Published on Feb. 13, 2020

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One Comment

  1. Glen Arnold Kane February 19, 2020 at 11:09 pm

    For about the last 20 years I have traveled to Las Vegas VA for my medical care. I am in my 90’s and traveling to Las Vegas VA has become increasingly stressful and physically difficult.
    My Primary Care Dr., Dr. Tran, told me I could be on home-based primary care. That sounded great. He said he would initiate it, and that they would contact me. In a few days, I received a letter, informing me that home-based care was not available to me.

    I also have numerous appointments with VA specialty clinics. I live in Littlefield, AZ, and only 8 miles from Mesquite, NV. where there are many non-VA specialists. Why can’t I be set up to use those?. Several years ago, the VA Dental Clinic in Las Vegas set me up to receive dental care from a dentist in Mesquite. That is working very well.

    There is a non-VA medical clinic only two blocks from my house, manned by physician assistants. I would like to be set up to use those.

    Glen Kane -(redacted)

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