10/18/11 — VA clinic ground to be broken Oct. 28

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VA clinic ground to be broken Oct. 28

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on October 18, 2011 1:46 PM

By the end of the month, Wayne County veterans will be one step closer to receiving medical treatment without having to drive several hours to access it.

Veterans Affairs officials are set to break ground on Goldsboro's outpatient VA clinic -- designed to operate as an extension of the VA Medical Facility in Fayetteville by providing access to primary care, diagnostic testing, mental health services and referrals for thousands of patients -- on Oct. 28 at the facility's future home across the street from Wayne Memorial Hospital.

"Everybody's invited," said Bruce Sprecher, a spokesman for the VA.

The construction contract for the 10,000-square-foot clinic -- site and landscape plans for the facility were approved by the Goldsboro City Council in September -- was awarded to Construction Managers of Goldsboro.

And Sprecher said that unless an unforeseen issue causes significant delays, the clinic should be open for business by spring 2012.

Plans to construct dozens of new outpatient clinics across 16 states were first announced in December 2008 when then-Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James Peake said 31 facilities, including one in Goldsboro, would be up and running by 2010.

"These new clinics will bring VA's top-notch care closer to the veterans who have earned it," he said then.

And while it has taken far longer for the VA to realize that goal, local veterans are celebrating soon having a more convenient option than Fayetteville, Durham and beyond.