ROCHESTER, Minn.-Veterans are getting a new medical facility. They're expanding services here at the new outpatient clinic. The clinic will provide primary care and pharmacy management but the biggest upgrade is more mental health services for veterans.
Lawrence Clark is a Vietnam veteran. He travels to the twin cities for medical appointments. That's more than hours behind the wheel every time he needs care.
“An hour and a half for us to drive to the cities and it may be a ten minute appointment than come back,” he said.
Now, the facility has over 16,000 square feet. There is plenty of space for exam rooms and services including general x-ray exams. Clark and others will spend far less time on the road.
“It's more convenient,” he said.
Local leaders were there for the grand opening, including Congressman Jim Hagedorn.
“Our military folks they deserve timely quality medical care and we want to do everything we can to make that happen,” said the congressman.
The one focus is an expansion of mental health services, Patrick Kelly is the director at the Minneapolis VA Healthcare System.
He says they're working to serve the people who inside the clinic here they'll have staff who are able to work with veterans who deal mental health conditions.
The new facility is only open Monday through Friday. Director Kelly says there's a veteran crisis line they can call if there's an emergency after business hours.
The crisis line: 1-800-273-8255