Local VA clinic moves to bigger home - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

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Local VA clinic moves to bigger home

New facility in Surprise offers more services for NW Valley vets

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Posted: Friday, December 17, 2010 1:00 pm

For a decade and a half, the Northwest VA Health Care Clinic served thousands of local veterans in a 8,000 square-foot clinic in Sun City.

But with the influx of veterans and the need for more services, the clinic moved to a specially designed 28,000 square-foot building in Surprise. For a couple of months, the new facility has been open, but will celebrate its grand opening today. The event will be hosted by the Phoenix VA Health Care System.

“We’re so happy to offer a lot more to our veterans, and finally it’s happening,” said Miguel Garcia, medical administrative officer for the clinic. “It will now be a one-stop place and allows us to not send them downtown as much anymore.”

The new clinic has a dental suite, X-ray, audiology department, occupational and physical therapy as well as expanding mental health services.

“Our services have tripled in what we can give our veterans,” Garcia said.

Dr. Tom Featherston, clinic director, said the Sun City clinic couldn’t handle the increased demands.

“We had to continue to send people downtown because there was no room and not enough that we could give them in the clinic,” Featherston said. “The West Valley has a huge population of new and retired veterans along with a big Air Force base, so it was important to have a larger location.”

The facility also has a high-tech security system to protect patients and staff throughout the day.

When the 15-year lease expired in Sun City, Featherston said the perfect opportunity to expand became available, so VA clinic officials met with contractors and designers.

Dorethea Williams, assistant nurse manager at the clinic, said she’s been with the Northwest facility since its beginning.

“We were kind of on top of each other in the old clinic and now there’s more room to spread out here and really give our patients the proper care,” Williams said.

In addition, Featherston said the clinic allows them to have more physicians, which will improve patient care. 

Last year, more than 29,000 visits were made to the Northwest VA Health Care Clinic. Officials expect even more at the Surprise location.

“We’re having people as far as Wickenburg and even Rocky Point,” said Garcia. “This is a great win for the staff, our veterans and the West Valley.”

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