Veterans Affairs Dept. enlists District to tout apps

WASHINGTON: The Department of Veterans Affairs has hired District Communications to implement outreach and strategic internal and external communications for a series of upcoming mobile health applications.

WASHINGTON: The Department of Veterans Affairs has hired District Communications to implement outreach and strategic internal and external communications for a series of upcoming mobile health applications.

The apps were developed as part of the federal agency's Mobile Health Initiative. In addition to outreach, District's contract includes video and multimedia production, social media and website support, media planning and buying, and metrics for measuring success. The budget is about $474,000. It's a one-year agreement, with the option of a 12-month extension.

Last year, the department hired District to develop strategic communications plans to promote the apps. That contract lasted 12 months and had a budget of $350,000. The new contract, which was won following a competitive review, focuses on implementation, explained Adam Clampitt, president of District.

“We're excited to win this,” he said. “The company is committed to serving veterans. As an Afghanistan veteran myself, this is an important cause to me.”

The apps are broken up into several groups. Those that are veteran-facing “are intended to place veterans at the center of their healthcare through the use of mobile technology, allowing them to more effectively manage their interaction with Veterans Affairs healthcare services,” according to the RFP for the contract.

This fall, the department also plans on rolling out a pilot program featuring a suite of apps that provides educational resources and tools for women veterans and healthcare teams. The collection includes apps for women veteran care, preconception and prenatal care, safe women's prescribing, and maternity tracking and care coordination.

The department will also launch clinician apps that aim to allow Veterans Affairs medical professionals to better deliver healthcare services to veterans by improving access to necessary information and tools. A group of approximately 20 apps developed over a two-year period will debut as part of a pilot program this fall.

During District's contract period, five major rollouts and/or pilots will take place, encompassing approximately 40 apps. Beyond veterans and medical professionals who work for Veterans Affairs, audiences for the firm's outreach effort will include veterans' service organizations, policy-makers, interest groups, industry, military branches, departments and agencies within the federal government, media, and the general public.

A Veterans Affairs communications representative could not be immediately reached for comment.

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