VA Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System leaders held a ribbon-cutting ceremony April 26 to celebrate the expansion of the VA outpatient clinic located near Florida’s Eglin Air Force Base.
The expansion adds 11 primary care exam rooms—increasing the number of patient aligned care teams to 12, with a dedicated float team.
The expansion also offers two fully-functioning minor procedure rooms for increased service such as dermatology, telehealth exams and shared medical appointment spaces as well as increased education space for staff and patients. Additionally, all exam spaces are completely outfitted with new medical equipment included state-of-the-art vital signs monitoring that will connect to VA’s network. A subsequent renovation project of primary care’s old space will expand space for the facility’s current behavioral health services, too.
Area Veterans benefit from VA-Department of Defense resource sharing agreements with nearby military treatment facilities, such as the Eglin AFB hospital, to provide additional health care services for those living along the gulf coast. Air Force Col. Pamela Smith, 96th Medical Group commander, spoke about the importance of that partnership during her remarks.
“The Eglin AFB hospital is looking ahead to the very bright future of our collaborative partnership with the VA,” Smith said.
The facility originally opened in April 2008, and Veterans have visited the facility for care more than 414,000 times since its opening. Nearly 9,000 unique Veterans received care from the facility in Fiscal Year 2017, up from 5,166 in the clinic’s first full year of operation in 2009.
About the author: Jerron Barnett is a public affairs officer for the Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System.