By Matt Nielsen
It has been a long time coming for Devils Lake citizens but the long awaited VA Clinic is finally coming to town.
The VA Clinic has been a hot topic in Devils Lake for many years now. Although it will still be a few more months until it opens, it is nice to know that there will be a VA Clinic in town come 2014.
The hospital board has been working with city leaders who have been working with VA leaders for close to ten years now in order to make the VA Clinic in Devils Lake a reality. Veterans have had to travel to either Fargo or Grand Forks for previous appointments. The convenience of this clinic will save veterans time and money on travel.
“I think the biggest impact that this will have is the travel for the veterans who have had to travel to Grand Forks or Fargo. It is 90 miles closer to home and that's big,” said Mercy Hospital administrator Jim Marshall.
The hospital is going to have around 90 days to finish the construction on the building which they are hoping will be finished by March 1.
Once construction on the clinic is complete, the VA will bring in all of their supplies and equipment and finally open the doors when they are ready to do so.
The clinic will be located on the fourth floor of the south wing of the hospital.
“If the veterans need any other procedure done at Mercy Hospital, they can schedule that procedure or have that service provided before they leave the hospital which really provides them with a one stop shop,” said Marshall.
If the clinic was to be built anywhere else in the city, they would be able to receive the primary care service there but they would still need to go somewhere else for an additional follow up.
A construction start date has not been established yet. The hospital is currently moving some of the departments in the construction space and once everything is moved out the demolition phase will begin.
Once the demolition is done the construction on the clinic will begin.
“I would anticipate that we will do some of the work in that space within the next 30 to 60 days,” said Marshall.
It looks as if the wait is finally coming to an end on the VA Clinic.
Page 2 of 2 - Be sure to follow the Devils Lake Journal in the coming months on the progress of the clinic.