Local veterans will soon have health and medical services available to them right here in Page, perhaps as soon as the first part August.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has announced the opening of a new facility located in the shopping center next to the Dollar General store on North Navajo St.
On June 15, Veterans Affairs Rural Health Coordinator Rod Sepulveda gave a tour of the new building and answered questions by Page VFW Commander Wes Berry, Mayor Bill Diak, Coconino County Supervisor Lena Fowler and representatives of local media outlets.
The city of Page itself, has an estimated veteran population of 307 and according to Berry. About 30 to 40 veterans could be ready and in line to be registered as soon as the process gets underway.
The clinic will be available to all local veterans and will start with a 30-hour-a-week schedule until the demand increases. It will be open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., “bringing services to a place that has needed them for a long time,” Sepulveda said.
He added it will operate via appointments, but that some limited walk-in services would also be accepted.
According to Sepulveda the facility will have the capabilities to administer care that veterans have previously had to travel great distances to receive, adding that the focus of the clinic will to be the primary care provider for local veterans and take over the day-to-day care of eligible members of the community, performing tasks such as examinations, mailing out prescriptions, and directing referrals.
In addition, the clinic will have on-site labs to do lab work when it is needed and be able to administer immunizations as well.
Sepulveda said the VA clinic will also focus on expanding its home health care program which may prove to be a challenge due to the rural setting of the community adding that, “This area is as rural as rural can get.”
One of the key pieces of equipment the clinic will rely on is the GlobalMed Mobile Telemedicine Station powered by HP, which allows physicians to use cameras and other tools to not only perform more in depth patient analysis, but share and collaborate with other medical professionals via streaming video chat services.
“This technology is really amazing,” Sepulveda said.
Each GlobalMed station has a price tag of approximately $80,000, and according to Sepulveda the facility expects to spend close to $300,000 on equipment alone.
The estimated cost of the renovation and additional construction on the building itself ran close to $200,000, added Sepulveda.
Although not all veterans may be eligible to receive all of the benefits the clinic will provide, anyone needing assistance should apply, said Sepulveda, adding, “A veteran is a veteran is a veteran to us.”
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