I want my VA TV!

Jonathan Kaupanger
September 26, 2018 - 3:24 pm

Dreamstime

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Move over healthcare and benefits, VA’s first cable TV channel goes live on Friday, September 28 at 9:00 a.m., local Arizona time.

“This project will benefit all of our veterans in the area,” said Mary Dillinger, public affairs officer for the Northern Arizona VA Health Care System (NAVAHCS) in Prescott, Arizona.  “And as an Army veteran and VA employee, I am proud to be part of it.”

Arizona’s VA channel has been in the works for two years.  The free public access channel is provided at no cost to Veterans Affairs, by an Arizona-based internet, cable and phone provider.  Programming for the channel includes veteran support services, veteran to veteran communication through success stories, information about Post-traumatic Stress, women veterans, suicide prevention and employment.

“Pretty much everything veterans need to know about services, events and programs in the community can be found on our new cable channel,” said Dillinger in a Vantage Point blog post.  Plans for programming include locally produced videos, a new veteran orientation video and live streaming local VA events. 

The first program to air will highlight the 2018 Yavapai County Stand Down.  For now, the channel is set to broadcast Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for veterans living in Yavapai County, which is where VA’s Northern Arizona medical center is located.

This began because the medical center was looking for a better way to get information out to local veterans.  They partnered with the City of Prescott, local VSO’s and the city’s Chamber of Commerce and came up with the idea of a veteran specific cable channel.

“Yavapai County has a large veteran population and it is great there will now be a channel designed specifically for veterans in this area,” said Barbara Oemcke, NAVAHCS medical center director.  “We are always looking at ways to better reach veterans, and a cable channel focused solely on veteran programming is a perfect solution.”

While this may be VA’s first cable TV channel, it’s not the first time VA has produced TV programming.  The first facility to tap into this form of communication was the Montrose Campus of the VA Hudson Valley Health Carey System in 1990.  Arizona’s VAMC has been in the business since 1999 when they started “Veterans News and Views,” a monthly cable TV show that aired on local stations.

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