Health care access for about 13,000 veterans expanded Wednesday with the grand opening of a new 19,000-square-foot Fort Benning VA Clinic.
Health care officials from the post and Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System gathered at 9214 Santa Fe Road to cut the ribbon on the new facility. The clinic will improve access, quality and cost effectiveness of health care for veterans living in and near the Columbus area. Veterans also get access to 18 specialty clinics at the new Martin Army Community Hospital with a referral from their primary care physician.
“The close proximity of this new clinic to Martin Army Community Hospital will greatly enhance VA and Department of Defense relations and resource sharing that will provide exceptional health care to our nation’s Veterans,” said Robin Jackson, interim director, Central Alabama Veterans Healthcare System.
The move to the clinic relocates primary care services for beneficiaries at the Columbus Community-Based Outpatient Clinic at 1310 13th Ave. to the new clinic at Fort Benning. Services at the new clinic include dietary, social work, clinical pharmacy and laboratory services.
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Veterans were sent letters about the changes in services at the 13th Avenue clinic. The Columbus location will focus on mental health and other services such as compensation and pension, eligibility, patient photo identification, optometry and podiatry.
Expanding care at Fort Benning will offer a full complement of primary care with integrated mental health services, expand staffing to four Behavioral Health Interdisciplinary Teams, increase primary care and implement tele-health hubs to provide an additional 96 appointments each week.
A shuttle service will be available between the Columbus clinic, Fort Benning clinic and the new Martin Army Community Hospital. Veterans and beneficiaries will need a photo ID to enter Fort Benning.