Veterans from around the Quincy area got a chance to tour the new VA clinic opening in the old Best Buy building later this month on Friday. Clinic officials at the event said it’s a big upgrade from their current facility.
They said there just isn’t enough space in their cramped current facility for many services important to veterans, which is why many end up driving hours for things like dental care.
“I used to go to Columbia, Missouri and Mexico, Missouri for my out patient services, and I did that for 9 years, and I wasn’t getting nowhere,” said Iraqi War Vet Mark Murphy who toured the new facility.
He said while he’s glad to get help at their current facility, there’s still some things he had to go out of town for.
“I had to go to Iowa City, for dental, glasses, hearing aids,” said Murphy.
Iowa City VA Healthcare System spokesperson Bryan Clark said that’s why the goal of this facility is to have more services closer together for veterans in the community.
“The needs in the area have changed, the veteran population is growing and changing, so we want to keep up with that growth and keep up with that change,” said Clark.
He highlighted how the new location has a lot more parking, is more visible, and more accessible than the old one.
Clark said the new and expanded services include physical therapy, radiology, on-site x-rays and more.
“We’ll have home-based primary care, we’ll expand our mental health services, we’ll have an audiology booth here so patients can get their hearing tests, and won’t have to travel to get those services,” said Clark.
For Murphy, he looks forward to not having to run around for healthcare.
“[The new facility is] gonna be a lot better, more comfortable, the people are still the same, they’ll go out of their way to help a vet,” said Murphy.
A ribbon cutting is scheduled for the 21st at 1 P.M., the clinic will be open for patients on November 25th.
VA Clinic officials said the current office in Quincy currently serves 3,000 patients. The new facility will be able to serve up to 5,000.
They said the lease agreement for the building enables more flexibility, so they don’t have to figure out how to sell the old property if things change.