New veteran outreach clinic in works for Selma

Published 9:35 pm Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Tuscaloosa VA has planned an enrollment fair for veterans to register for a Selma-based clinic scheduled to open the week of Aug. 10.

The enrollment fair is set for inside the main entrance to the Selma Mall, July 28 from 2-7 p.m., said Damon Stevenson, a spokesman for the Tuscaloosa VA.

The fair comes about two weeks before the new outreach clinic opens at 206 Vaughan Memorial Drive.

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“The new outreach clinic will significantly improve access to primary care and basic mental health services for veterans living in or near Selma, and surrounding counties,” Stevenson said.

The clinic will operate Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. VA employees will staff the clinic, ensuring a continuum of care the medical center offers to veterans who use the main VA facility in Tuscaloosa.

Blood draws will be done in the clinic and a contract established with a local provider for laboratory and radiology for timely return of test results, the VA spokesman said.

Stevenson said veterans eligible for VA services not offered at the Selma clinic will receive referrals to the Tuscaloosa VA, another VA facility or a community health care provider and paid for through the VA’s Fee Basis program.

Veterans from the Selma area already enrolled with Tuscaloosa VA will have the option of using the clinic rather than traveling to the main center or can still use the Tuscaloosa VA, if they prefer.

“There is a large population of veterans living in the Selma area, and we are excited about the oportunity to bring health care closer to where they live,” Stevenson said. “Opening this clinic will provide health care to some veterans who have not been able to get the care they needed and that they have earned through their service to our nation.”

Most recently, Tuscaloosa VA received $1.1 million to estbalish a Home-Based Primary Care team and $330,000 to establish a Mental Health outreach team, with both to operate from the clinic.