Bigger veterans clinic welcome in our community
Monday was an important day for the veterans of our community.
It was the first day services were provided at a new greatly expanded health care clinic operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs here in Yuma.
For a number of years, veterans here have complained about the lack of available VA medical services for them locally. There was a VA clinic but due to its size and staffing, it was limited to providing basic services. That forced veterans to travel significant distances to get the assistance they needed for some medical conditions.
The VA heard the pleas for better local care and began work on a new facility more than a year ago. It is now open in south Yuma in the Big Curve Shopping Center.
Surprisingly, it is not only bigger, but apparently also the biggest clinic in Arizona. At 15,000 square feet, it is some 5,000 square feet bigger than the typical VA clinic. The previous clinic here was about one-quarter the current size.
Right now the facility is providing primary health care, a pharmacy and mental health counseling. Many more services are planned once staff is hired, including eye care, hearing assistance, physical therapy, radiology services and more.
The larger clinic is particularly needed here. Not only do thousands of veterans live here year-round, but many more come here in the winter months and need assistance while they are visiting. It will also be a regional center, attracting clients from other counties.
One of the commitments we as a nation make to those who serve us in the military is that they will continue to receive medical care after they leave the service. The need for medical assistance is ever-present, but particularly so as the population ages. There is also the reality that many veterans are returning from the long conflicts in the Middle East and will need care.
As a military community that attracts many veterans, we have long needed this expanded clinic and we are happy it is finally here.