New Cape Veteran's facility is good for patients, economy

Cape Girardeau received good news last week when it was announced a new $47.4 million Veterans Affairs (VA) health care center is moving forward after years of delay.

The 43,000-square-foot facility will be located on a seven-acre site along Interstate 55 near the SoutheastHEALTH Cancer Center. Southeast Missourian's Mark Bliss reported the clinic will be home to eight primary care teams, lab and radiology services, eye and audiology clinics and a pharmacy among other services. Completion is set for 2022.

Center director Libby Johnson said the goal is to enroll 3,000 new veteran patients leading up to the facility's opening.

This is a big deal for a couple reasons. First and foremost, it provides a new level of care for veterans closer to home. While some services have been offered at the VA's current outpatient clinic near West Park Mall, travel to VA clinics elsewhere was necessary for some services.

Adding the facility to the area's strong lineup of other medical providers only increases the local medical hub designation. And the investment in a major capital project along with ongoing operations will be a nice economic boon. For all these reasons, we're happy to see the project move forward.