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St. Joseph Veteran Affairs moving to new building

St. Joseph News-Press - 1/26/2024

Jan. 25—St. Joseph veterans will have access to more health care services by the end of the year with the construction of a new clinic.

The St. Joseph Veteran Affairs Clinic will be moving farther north to 4782 Sienna Drive. The new building will be larger, which will provide more space for health care teams and equipment.

Associate Group Practice Manager Bailey McCoy said the current Veteran Affairs clinic at 3302 S. Belt Highway lacks the space needed to provide more services for visitors. She had been hearing about plans to move the building for a few years.

"There's a lot of services here that we aren't able to offer here because we just simply don't have the room size or space for the equipment to put it here," she said. "So we're really just bursting at the seams."

McCoy started at the clinic in 2015 as an audiologist and eventually supervised the department. The move will allow the clinic to fit more equipment, like a sound booth, in the building.

"We do have audiology services here, but now we're able to have more equipment up there, so we're able to expand that service," she said.

All current services will continue at the new building, and the extra space will allow more primary care teams to work at the facility. They will also work on providing more telehealth services.

"So like even being able to do some video-to-home services that we don't do now, but also bringing in some of those specialty services, like physical therapy, occupational therapy and some of those services that they still have to travel down to the main campus now to get," she said.

The main campus is in Leavenworth, Kansas, so the new building in St. Joseph will help visitors save time, especially if they need multiple visits. McCoy said the clinic helps many veterans in the region, including up to the Iowa border.

"There's not another VA that's really close to us. And so moving up north is even going to expand that to be able to help some of those veterans further up north too," she said.

An opening date for the new clinic on Sienna Drive is tentatively set for September 2024. The ground at the site is currently lined with construction equipment like rollers and trackhoes.

"It's going to be a really nice building, it's going to be more modern, we're going to have a lot more space, they're going to have a better clinic flow," she said. "And so just in general, it's going to be a nicer atmosphere, too."

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