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New VA clinic will benefit vets

New VA clinic will benefit vets

February 7th, 2019 in Opinion

We’re pleased to see a commitment to a higher level of health care for our area veterans.

In late January, we reported about the opening of the city’s new Community-Based Outpatient Clinic. The Department of Veteran Affairs moved its operation a half mile to a more spacious building at 3430 W. Edgewood Drive, increasing its space from 7,625 square feet to 10,476.

The new VA clinic offers 10 primary care exam rooms, compared to six at the old location.

One of the most promising features of the new clinic is its focus on preventive care.

We reported that physicians, LPNs and others will be co-located in Patient Aligned Care Team work areas. In the PACT model of health care the VA uses, personalized team-based care focuses on wellness and disease prevention.

That new approach to health care doesn’t just treat sick patients; it encourages appointments by healthy patients as well. That way, their doctor can give them the knowledge and encouragement to stay healthy longer.

If well-used, that has the potential to teach veterans how to stay healthy, giving them more years with a higher quality of life. It also has the potential of saving money through less treatment of chronic diseases such as diabetes if those diseases can be prevented or postponed until later in life.

“We look at your spiritual health, your physical, your emotional, your community,” said Heather Brown, the strategic partnership officer for Harry S. Truman Memorial Veteran’s Hospital. “It’s a great program.”

The new clinic offers primary care exam rooms, mental health rooms, telehealth, optometry and audiology.

Along with the new location is a new women’s health exam room. The number of women in the military still pales in comparison to men, but there still exists a specific need to address women veterans’ health-care issues.

For years, we’ve heard horror stories about problem-plagued VA clinics. So we’re proud to see a new clinic with a staff that seems excited to help veterans.

News Tribune