Emporia to get VA clinic

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 28, 2008

A veterans outpatient clinic has been approved for Emporia, according to U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va.

The clinic will significantly reduce travel distance to the nearest VA hospital and increase access to health care for veterans across the 4th Congressional District, Forbes said.

“This is very exciting news for veterans and for the 4th District,” he said. “Our nation’s veterans have dedicated their lives to protecting the freedom of the United States, and they deserve to have access to quality health care. This veterans outpatient clinic will make quality health care much more accessible to veterans in the 4th District. We have worked closely with veterans across the 4th District and with the Department of Veterans Affairs officials on this issue for quite awhile, and it is exciting to see the much-needed facility finally begin to come to fruition. As a country, it our privilege and our duty to honor our nation’s veterans and see that the commitments we have made to them are carried out.”

The state-of-the-art clinic will focus not only on providing primary treatment but prevention of disease, early detection, and health promotion, Forbes said. Veterans outpatients clinics typically include telehealth systems that permit veterans to maintain regular contact with their doctors at regional VA hospitals through video consultation and telemetry of health data and images. The clinics also feature a health records system that allows the clinic to review patient records that may be stored at other VA facilities across the country.

As of the 2000 census, the 4th District had a 17 percent veteran population and has no veterans center, outpatient clinic or medical center. Currently, the nearest community based outpatient clinic for 4th District veterans is in Virginia Beach. The McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond serves veterans in the region.

The Emporia facility is one of three new veterans outpatients clinics announced to Virginia. Other sites include Augusta County and Wytheville. The Emporia clinic is scheduled to be activated in the next 15 months.