New county VA clinic on schedule
By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on September 2, 2012 1:50 AM
By early 2013, thousands of local veterans will be able to forego long drives to Durham and Fayetteville and replace them with much shorter trips to a new clinic off Wayne Memorial Drive.
But VA officials were quick to point out that the facility -- a 10,000 square-foot arm of the VA Medical Center in Fayetteville -- would only provide some of the services offered at medical centers across the state.
James Galkowski, associate director of the VA Medical Center in Fayetteville, said the Goldsboro Community Based Outpatient Clinic would focus on primary care, women's health and mental health -- a dietitian, social worker, clinical pharmacist and laboratory will also operate within the site.
"The specialists will still be back out at the medical centers," he said.
But many Wayne County veterans don't require specialty care.
So they, like the VA, are anxious to see the clinic open its doors.
The of construction of outpatient clinics has been a work in progress for years, since the VA conducted a nationwide survey to determine just where the nation's veterans resided.
Then, using census data as their guide, they prognosticated where those populations would exist in the future.
"Initially, the VA wanted to put a site for primary care within a 60-minute drive ... of every veteran in the nation," Galkowski said. "Once we got within a 60-minute drive ... they said, 'Well, let's make it 30 minutes.'"
The Goldsboro clinic fits that model.
According to the VA database, there are around 6,000 patients within 30 minutes of the Wayne Memorial Drive site who are eligible to receive care at the facility.
Initially, the transfer of care will be extended to Fayetteville patients, but Galkowski said those who are currently treated in Durham will eventually get the nod as well.
For more information about the facility, visit www.fayettevillenc.va.gov.