[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                         July 11, 2008
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VA launches expansion in veterans outpatient health clinics

      WASHINGTON, D.C. (Veterans Affairs Public Affairs Office) -- Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake announced plans to create 44 new community-based outpatient clinics to bring the world-class health care of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) closer to home for veterans in 21 states.

VA's new outpatient clinic planned sites

Alabama (2) -- Marshall County, Wiregrass

Alaska -- Matanuska-Susitna Borough area

Arkansas (2) -- Ozark, White County

California -- East Bay-Alameda County area

Florida -- Summerfield

Georgia (4) -- Baldwin County, Coweta County, Glynn County, Liberty County

Indiana (2) -- Miami County, Morgan County

Iowa -- Wapello County

Louisiana (5) -- Lake Charles, Leesville, Natchitoches, St. Mary Parish, Washington Parish

Maine -- Lewiston-Auburn area

Minnesota (2) -- Douglas County, Northwest Metro

Missouri -- Franklin County

New Mexico -- Rio Rancho

North Carolina (2) -- Robeson County, Rutherford County

North Dakota -- Grand Forks County

Ohio -- Gallia County

Oklahoma (4) -- Altus, Craig County, Enid, Jay

Tennessee (3) -- Giles County, Maury County, McMinn County

Texas (5) -- Katy, Lake Jackson, Richmond, Tomball, El Paso County

Virginia (3) -- Augusta County, Emporia, Wytheville

West Virginia -- Greenbrier County

       "VA continues to make access to care easier through an expanding outpatient system focused not only on primary treatment but also prevention of disease, early detection, and health promotion," Peake said.

       The new clinics, scheduled to be activated over the next 15 months, will increase VA's network of independent and community-based clinics to 782, an increase of more than 100 in five years.

      This growth in community clinics has helped VA meet veterans' expectations for prompt, quality service, with 98 percent of veterans seen within 30 days in all types of VA primary care facilities throughout the country.

      In addition to on-site primary care staff, today's modern outpatient clinics frequently feature state-of-the-art telehealth systems permitting veterans to maintain regular contact with doctors in specialties from cardiac care to mental health at regional VA hospitals linked for video consultations, coupled with telemetry of health data or images.

      A highly acclaimed national health records system allows practitioners at even remote clinics to review patient records stored at VA facilities anywhere in the country.

      VA's 21 regional networks develop applications for new clinics in consideration of reducing the distance veterans travel to their nearest VA hospital or clinic, as well as local demand, existing hospital, clinic workload and other factors.

      Laura Bishop, Tomah, Wis., VA Medical Center Public Affairs Office, said the Tomah VAMC has four outpatient clinics in Wisconsin at Wausau, Loyal, Wisconsin Rapids and La Crosse.

      Other VA outpatient clinics in Wisconsin are located at Appleton, Baraboo, Beaver Dam, Cleveland, Green Bay, Janesville, Kenosha, Rhinelander, and Union Grove.

      Community-based outpatient clinics are located in Chippewa Falls, Hayward, Rice Lake and Superior.

      The La Crosse VA River Clinic is undergoing an expansion, Bishop said. The current clinic at the Village Shopping Center in La Crosse has more than 5,000-square-feet of space.

      The clinic is expanding to another facility located in the Village Shopping Center, which will offer an additional 3,100-square-feet of space and is expected to open in August.

      This will help provide sufficient resources to provide care to the influx of veterans in this area, Bishop said.

      The outpatient clinics were established to help reduce the distance veterans have to drive/travel to get medical care/assistance that can be handled on an outpatient basis, she said.

      For more information about the River Valley Clinic call (608) 784-3886 or visit the Web site http://www1.va.gov/directory/guide/state.asp?State=WI&dnum=ALL, which also has links to information about all VA outpatient clinics in Wisconsin and other states.

 

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