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VA clinic opening on Wednesday

Veterans’ access to health care will improve a notch this weekwhen a new Veterans Administration clinic opens up just 20 milesdown the road.

An extension of the G.V. Sonny Montgomery VA Medical Center willopen its doors in McComb Wednesday at 8 a.m., providing amuch-closer alternative to local veterans who have had to drive tothe Jackson hospital or the Natchez clinic for the past year.Veterans have been forced to make the long drive since the formerVA clinic in Meadville closed last November.

“We certainly wanted to have this presence here. One of the mainthings is providing care closer to where veterans live,” said MarioRossilli, public affairs officer for the VA medical center. “Westarted out with the clinic system as a hub and spoke idea, thehospital being in the middle and these clinics in the more ruralareas throughout Mississippi.”

Local veterans may visit the McComb Community Based OutpatientClinic at 1308 Harrison Ave. – located on the southeast corner ofthe Southwest Mississippi Medical Center complex – for all of theirprimary care and preventive care needs, as well as some mentalhealth treatment, Rossilli said.

The clinic will be staffed by two doctors and a full support staff,and is made up of four exam rooms, a laboratory and behavioralhealth department.

“Flu shots, cold, lab work, annual check-ups – anything along thoselines,” Rossilli said. “If a veteran needs some kind of specialtycare, they’ll refer you to the hospital.

The clinic will see walk-ins and appointments from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.on weekdays. Veterans may call the clinic at 601-250-0965 to set upappointments.

Rossilli said the new clinic will likely see 1,000 patients in thefirst quarter of 2011. It is the seventh VA clinic in the state andwill be operated by CR Associates.