By Ginger Livingston
Thursday, September 5, 2013
Veterans Administration officials gave a progress report on the new Greenville VA Health Care Center during a Thursday meeting at American Legion Post No. 39.
About 30 people attended the briefing given by Sara Haigh, associate director of the Durham VA Medical Center, and Tom Delaney, administrator of the Greenville facility.
The facility is expected to serve all of eastern North Carolina. That represents 10,000 veterans already being treated in Greenville and about 4,500 in Morehead City, Haigh said.
While the new facility won’t open until early 2014, the existing clinic’s malfunctioning telephone system will be replaced next week, Haigh said.
Construction of the 115,000-square-foot facility is scheduled for completion in late October or early November, Delaney said.
“In the last week, on the outside, you’ve seen the metal panels going up, you’ve seen the start of the landscape, the trees, the parking,” he said.
The outpatient clinic will be the first to move to the new facility, he said.
Haigh said mental health services will be integrated with the outpatient clinic instead of being in a separate area.
Once the outpatient clinic is operational, other services will be brought online, Delaney said. This includes a pharmacy, radiology, a full-service laboratory, and vision and dental care. Treatment in medical specialities will be offered, including cardiology, gastroenterology, dermatology and oncology, Delaney said.
There also will be clinical space dedicated to women’s medical care.
The plan is to work with East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine to provide the specialists who will lead the center’s programs, Delaney said. It’s similar to how the Durham facility works with Duke University’ medical school.
Nearly every service available in Durham will be available in Greenville, except inpatient care and emergency care.
Several people at the briefing complained about the lack of emergency care at the facility. One woman said when her husband suffered a heart attack and was taken to Vidant Medical Center, they could not receive reimbursement for the care from the Veterans Administration. Haigh said one of her staff members met with the couple.
Delaney said the center has started its hiring process. About 150 jobs are available, he said. All applicants must apply through www.USAJOBS.gov.
Haigh said the VA is committed to employing veterans, saying the best help a veteran can receive is employment. More than 40 percent of the recent hires at the Durham facility are veterans, she said.
U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr., R-N.C., said the new center will be a dream come true for area veterans.
“I am really pleased they would come down from Durham to answer any questions our veterans have abut the clinic,” Jones said.
Contact Ginger Livingston at firstname.lastname@example.org or 252-329-9570.
via The Daily Reflector.