VA to open new outpatient clinic in Sikeston

Monday, November 23, 2009

SIKESTON, Mo. -- Local veterans will soon have convenient access to VA medical care.

The Veterans Health Administration office in Poplar Bluff, Mo., is on track to open a community-based outpatient clinic just after the first of the year.

The facility will be located in the space previously occupied by the SEMO Health Network at the former River Birch Mall, 903 S. Kingshighway, according to Chuck Hayden, public affairs officer for the John J. Pershing Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Poplar Bluff.

"We've had the entire place renovated," Hayden said. "It will be a VA owned and operated clinic. It will provide things such as primary care for veterans, mental health care, and we're actually going to have limited specialty -- a hearing specialist."

Veterans Health Administration officials are slated to inspect renovations to the 9,000-square-foot facility this week after which they will take possession and begin moving in equipment.

The facility's 11 staff members will all be VA personnel, Hayden said.

The goal is to enroll 1,800 veterans during the first year of operation, Hayden said.

"Our goal here is to provide more access to veterans," Hayden said.

Area veterans have already received notification from the VA about the new facility and are excited about it opening.

"We all received letters on it," said J.D. Moore of Miner, Mo., a veteran and bar manager for the American Legion Henry Meldrum Post No. 114. "I think it's a great idea -- it will save me from going to Cape. I've been going up there for my physical. It will be right here handy now. Everyone I've talked to feels about the same way I do."

Veteran Richard Holman of Sikeston said the new facility will be "really handy."

"I live in the Wendell Apartments so it's not but about a 15 minute walk," he said. "When [the nearest available VA facility] was in Cape, I would have to scrounge up a ride for transportation because I don't drive."

The VA is looking forward to opening the new facility.

"It is a service we are anxious to begin providing," Hayden said. "We look forward to serving the veterans and we hope area veterans will enroll as it is there and available for them."

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: