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Health

Springfield VA Clinic Nears Two-Month Mark of Serving Veterans

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Michele Skalicky
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U.S. Senator Roy Blunt will be in Springfield Friday morning, February 1, to tour the new Veterans Administration clinic.  The Gene Taylor Community-based Outpatient Clinic, 1850 W. Republic Rd., has been open for nearly two months.  It welcomed its first patient on December 4, 2018.

Wanda Shull, public affairs officer with the Veterans Healthcare System of the Ozarks, said they’re already seeing a lot of veterans coming to the clinic for care. 

"It's already pretty busy there in Springfield, and because of the location being more central to veterans, and closer to their homes, I think we're seeing, you know, more veterans walking in, people who want to go ahead and transfer their care to the Springfield clinic now that it's there and it's closer to them," Shull said.

The VA expects around 17,000 veterans a year at the new facility.  Between 6000 and 7000 veterans are expected to seek care at a new VA clinic set to open the week of February 11 in Joplin.

Shull said VA clinics offer care that’s tailored to the specific needs of veterans.

"In the VA, you know, in our system at least, there's not a large wait for mental health appointments, and the VA invests a lot of resources  in training their providers in the specific and unique needs of veterans," Shull said.

She encourages all veterans to enroll in the VA for care to see what their level of eligibility is.  That can be done at any VA clinic or hospital or at va.gov.

Shull said all services are available now at the Springfield clinic expect for two services that weren’t offered at the VA clinic in Mt. Vernon.  Those are dental and endoscopy, and Shull doesn’t yet know when they’ll be offered in Springfield.  The VA is in the process of making those available, she said.

The Mt. Vernon VA clinic is still open, but it will close once the Joplin clinic opens.