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Alaska VA reminds eligible rural veterans of free health care transportation

The state department issued a press release Wednesday stating that the U.S. Department of...
The state department issued a press release Wednesday stating that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides a $250,000 transportation grant for the Alaska VA.(Department of Veterans Affairs)
Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 12:10 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs is reminding eligible rural veterans about its free transportation access to its facilities and other authorized health care services.

The state department issued a press release Wednesday stating that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides a $250,000 transportation grant for the state’s VA.

The Highly Rural Transportation Grant is meant for veterans living in the boroughs of Denali, Matanuska-Susitna, Kodiak Island, Kenai Peninsula, and Prince of Wales-Hyder. The department said it teamed up with local transportation companies in each borough to provide rides for eligible veterans.

“Last fiscal year, this grant reached out to 3,147 veterans in rural areas,” said Verdie Bowen Sr., director of the Alaska Office of Veterans Affairs. “Our transportation partners transported Alaska’s veterans over 116,000 miles and over 33,000 nautical miles, round trip for free. We provided the first step in ensuring our veterans in some of our rural communities have access to quality care.”

Veterans have free transportation access to VA Medical Clinic, Community Based Outpatient Clinics, hospitals under the Native Health Care Sharing Agreement or VA authorized vendors, such as pharmacies or medical specialists. Free rides to those locations will be covered until funds run out.

“I encourage veterans in each of the boroughs identified to contact our transportation partners for schedules and locations for pick up and drop off,” Bowen said. “The continued funding of this program is a great victory for our highly rural veterans.”

A full list of the companies offering free rides, their contact information and more details about the grant can be found on the VA health benefits website.

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