New VA center brings much needed care to veterans in Michiana
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – It may have been overcast and raining, but even that couldn’t keep the grins from some veterans’ faces Monday afternoon.
A host of dignitaries counted to three then snipped the red, white, and blue ribbon marking the official opening of the VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic for business.
Just a few short months ago, the building where the clinic now sits was a vacant eyesore near the heart of downtown South Bend.
Now, with a renovated façade and extensive interior work, the 16,000 square foot building is the home to dozens of offices, exam rooms, labs, and meeting spaces; all of which was designed to benefit the huge number of veterans in the area.
The previous outpatient clinic was a fraction of the size of this new facility.
Staff members quipped there would be no more working in cramped quarters.
Even veterans remarked how the lobby of the new clinic alone was larger than the entirety of the old facility.
With nearly three times as much space more services can be offered; which in turn will mean more patients can be seen in a more efficient manner; and that means less time traveling to other Indiana towns for treatment for veterans living in and around South Bend.
The clinic will offer veterans access to standard primary care as well as mental health professionals.
Other services the staff is proud to offer include: ultrasounds and x-rays.
According to administrators at the facility, there is a push to provide more tele-health type services.
Congressman Joe Donnelly, a longtime champion for northern Indiana veterans and their fight for closer, better, healthcare services, was in attendance.
Donnelly expressed excitement over how this facility will benefit area veterans, and how much he is looking forward to seeing the VA Hospital built in a few years.
During the ceremony Donnelly addressed the veterans in attendance, “This has been a dream of all of ours; and we’ve gone through the ups and the downs of this effort together. But nobody ever lost faith, nobody ever lost belief, that this day would come.”