State VA healthcare system gets phone upgrade

Phone systems at VA Connecticut Healthcare System community clinics statewide are being upgraded, Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, announced today.

The upgrade is a response to a May 30 town hall meeting at the Norwich Veterans Center, when Courtney heard from veterans that they were having difficulty getting through to the New London VA Clinic. Courtney relayed their concern to Gerald Culliton, director at VA Connecticut, the congressman said in a news release. Culliton then dispatched additional staff to New London to answer incoming calls, and initiated a review of the phone systems that revealed a problem with voicemail messages.

“I am pleased that after a thorough investigation into the problems raised by eastern Connecticut veterans with the phones at the New London clinic, a full overhaul of the system at all Connecticut facilities is complete,” Courtney said. “The new system will ensure that veterans who call their local clinics will either have their calls answered there, or will speak with a live operator at the Newington call center. Director Culliton and his team deserve credit for acting quickly to address this problem. With these improvements in place, I will continue to monitor input from eastern Connecticut veterans to ensure that they receive prompt attention to their health care needs.”

The upgrade was made after the Connecticut VA requested emergency funding from the VA Region 4 Office of Information and Technology to purchase a new phone system for the six community- based outpatient clinics throughout the state. The new phone system will allow phones at outpatient clinics to ring four times before rolling calls to the Newington call center, staffed by live operators.

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