(On this Memorial Day, 2013: God Bless Those Who Gave Much and the Families of Those Who Gave All…Heroes, Every One)
Catch your attention? Hope so!
So, what do Jon Bon Jovi, the VA (Veterans Administration) and also HUD (Housing and Urban Development) have in common… and just what is Project REACH?
Jon Bon Jovi, HUD and Health and Human Services collaborated with the VA Center for Innovation when it sponsored a mobile application competition called, you guessed it: “Project REACH”. The competition was created in March, 2012 to help those veterans, as well as others, who have found themselves in a homeless situation and in need of services available to them through various organizations via mobile and information technology.
The challenge to the community of software developers was to develop a way for our homeless vets to have access to assistance through local resources in order to get the support and physical care they need. The five finalists of the competition, selected in June of 2012, were allotted a certain amount of time to perfect their applications and last month, April 2013, the winner was announced.
“Qbase”, which is based in Reston, Virginia, won the $25,000 prize for the app, “Homeless REACH”, (Real-time Electronic Access for Caregivers and Homeless) which is a great tool for caregivers, social and other workers who are helping homeless veterans, according to Eric Shinseki, Secretary of Veterans Affairs in Washington.
The app will be able to access Veterans Administration open data, as well as open data from other agencies, both government and private, strictly for locating resources for the homeless anywhere in the country.
To quote Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Shaun Donovan, “We’ve come to rely on smart phones and tablets to access information and now we can apply this same technology to help people find a place to sleep or direct them to medical and other vital services.” (1)
Veterans Administration Medical Centers all over the country have been using telemedicine and telehealth technology in greater or lesser degrees for decades, starting with the simplest form of anytime teleconsultations with a charge nurse. More recently, remote monitoring for certain conditions have been gaining attention as possible additions to the health care arsenal – again, in some locations more than others, depending on need and acceptance.
Imagine the benefits to be had by combining all medical care technologies together!
As for Jon Bon Jovi…I can certainly remember “back in the day” when I used to love to sit and listen to that band’s music. To know that he has combined forces with the VA, HUD and HHS to assist Project REACH attain its goals though…
Well now. Wow.
Reference(s) and Citation(s): U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs. (April 15, 2013). VA, HUD and Jon Bon Jovi Announce “Project REACH” Grand Prize Winner. In Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs. Retrieved May 25, 2013, from http://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=2434.