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Aug. 18 opening date for $10 million VA clinic on Fillmore Hill

       The new Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) outpatient clinic on Fillmore Hill will see its first patient Monday, Aug. 18.
       Under construction since Veterans Day in November 2012, the 76,731-square-foot, three-story facility at 3141 Centennial Blvd. will greatly expand vets' medical services in the Colorado Springs area, according to VA officials.
       There will be no immediate ceremony to commemorate the opening.
An artist's rendering approximates how the new VA clinic will look with landscaping at Fillmore Street and Centennial Boulevard.
Courtesy of Veterans Affairs and Congressman Lamborn's Office
       According to Dan Warvi, public affairs officer for the Veteran Affairs Eastern Colorado Health Care System, a grand opening is planned Sept. 26. “There needs to be some time for the staff to get accustomed to their new site prior to a grand opening (and tours),” he said in a recent e-mail exchange.
       In the past, medical care for veterans has been provided locally at two smaller clinics, at 25 N. Spruce St. and 320 E. Fontanero Street, whose combined space is less than half the size of the new location. Meanwhile, the number of patients in the area has been increasing at the rate of 8 percent a year, according to VA information.
       The $10 million project is on an 18-acre site on the east side of Centennial, just south of Fillmore Street.
       The transition to the Centennial Boulevard site began Aug. 8. The old facilities will be closed Aug. l6, a VA fact sheet states.
       The fact sheet, written with veterans as the intended readers, also includes the following details about the new operation:
       “The clinic hours of operation will be Monday and Tuesday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Wednesday through Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
       “A select amount of primary care and mental health services will be offered Wednesday through Saturday 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The clinic is closed on Sundays and federal holidays.
       “The clinic telephone number will remain the same at (719) 327-5660 or (800) 278-3883 to schedule appointments or to inquire about your medical needs. After hours this number is answered by triage nurses who will review your concern/issue and provide assistance.
       “Please contact the Veteran's Crisis Hotline if you are having thoughts of harming yourself at (800) 273-­8255. The hotline is available 24 hours, 7 days a week.
       “The clinic is designed to fully support the implementation of the patient aligned care team (PACT) model in primary care. This model promotes a team approach to health promotion, disease prevention, and early intervention. In addition, the design promotes the Planetree concept to foster healing and well-­being.
       “The main entrance to the new clinic is on the west side of the building. An information desk will be available when you enter the clinic and staff will be available to assist you. Parking is available in the front of the building to include disabled parking spaces.”
       Here are the floors on which the different services will be provided:
       First floor - MRI, CT, ultrasound and X-ray services, Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), optometry, audiology, pharmacy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, laboratory, compensation and pension, CWT, homeless, and the pre- and post-surgical clinic.
       Second floor - primary care services, OEF/OIF, wound care, and MOVE classroom.
       Third floor - dental, mental health, and substance abuse clinics.
       No smoking is allowed inside the building or out.
       Colorado Springs' Mountain Metro Transit will provide a bus stop for the clinic weekdays on Route 2, which starts from the downtown bus station. For more information, go to the website - http://transit.coloradosprings.gov - or phone 385- 7433.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 8/6/14, 8/18/14; Projects: VA Clinic)

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