Monday, November 28, 2016 (Issue #3)
by Alana Branch, Veteran Affairs Editor
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Staying for weeks to months at a time in the hospital can be depressing, unless there’s a constant connection to loved ones. For Marine Corp veteran Elliot Storm, finding out that the VA hospital in West Haven in which he currently is battling leukemia, has no wi-fi except for in one common area, he says is a “technological setback towards recovery.”
Recently, Storm contacted Senator Richard Blumenthal, a major veterans advocate and is seeking another term in office, about the situation to which Blumenthal felt astonished and appalled, according to WTNH News 8. Immediately, Blumenthal made it a mission among his many others to secure funding for wi-fi in patients’ rooms.
“Pharmaceutical drugs and therapeutic treatment may be important but so is the psychological connection to the outside world that comes from wi-fi service,” the senator stated.
The VA noted that the cost to install and maintain wi-fi ranges from $300,000 to $500,000, after having contacted other VA hospitals in the New England region to know whether or not any of them carried internet access. Those of Boston and Northampton echoed Blumenthal’s statement, especially regarding long-term patients.
Because of Storm, the West Haven VA has taken vital steps in honoring this seemingly small request.