Veterans Affairs Health Clinic moves to new location in Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - It takes a village to take care of a veteran. That is the motto Samuel Hudson said as he walked the halls of the new Veterans Affairs Health Clinic in Fairbanks.
Hudson is a Navy Veteran who now serves as the Chief Public and Congressional Affairs Officer for the Alaska Veterans Affairs Healthcare System. He said the new location of the VA’s Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC), is just another step forward to better serve veterans in and around the Fairbanks area.
“So the opening of this clinic is going to benefit veterans because we are no longer required for them to go through the base,” said Hudson. “They don’t need to put in those waivers or anything like that. We are off the base.”
He explained how this move will be a huge benefit for those who may have had limited access or resources getting onto Fort Wainwright. “Caregivers and things like that are taking care of veterans don’t need to get on the base they can bring them right here,” he said.
The new location of the Veterans Affairs clinic is nearly three times the size of the old location. More room he said, will not only improve the care veterans receive but will also have a big impact on those providing care. “At our last location, everything was condensed because we had to make it work, and we did, but now here it is we have room,” said Hudson as he showed off the new exam rooms.
The VA has now provided enough space for chiropractic care, acupuncture, a mental health group, and a room dedicated to physical therapy. Hudson said this is a great improvement for veterans, to be able to provide care in-house in various ways.
Additionally, the new building will also have PACT teams or Patient-Aligned Care Teams. These teams are a set of healthcare providers that are dedicated to helping veterans with specific needs.
Deborah Fox, a Registered Nurse at the VA clinic said the team normally would include a nurse, a social worker, an administrative worker, and the patient, all working together. “If we need to we bring in the dietician, whatever other ancillary teams that we need we bring in,” she said.
All with the same focus. The Vet.
She explained in this clinic, they will have more alternative medicines available. Having four PACT teams essentially means, the patient will have more access to their specific needs. That could include Audiology, Teleretinal, among other services of care.
Hudson said he understands for some, it may be difficult to navigate through the VA system. Now, with a new location off of the base he is hoping this new building will help fill the gaps for many who may need questions answered or help getting enrolled or filing a claim.
“We are open to taking care of you the veteran,” he said. “We are going to give you that world-class service because you did a world-class [job] taking care of us.”
He noted, the VA system is not always perfect, but its intent is, and that is working to take care of Veterans. “If you had a bad experience, give us an opportunity to regain your trust,” he said. “Come back we are ready.”
Although the clinic is currently seeing patients, there will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand opening on February 22, 2023.
At the ceremony, the Secretary for Veterans Affairs, the Honorable Denis Richard McDonough will be doing a tour of the facility and speaking with veterans and providers.
“We are honored that he is going to come to see his CBOC,” said Hudson. “It is one thing to read about what goes on in Alaska, in Fairbanks, Delta Junction, Soldotna, all of those places, but it is another thing to see it.”
Hudson said this is a great opportunity for McDonough to see first-hand the needs of Alaskan Veterans.
The new location is 2555 Phillips Feild Road. The VA Clinic is located on the 2nd floor.
For more information call 907-257-5463.
PACT Act Marks Most Significant Expansion of VA Health Care in 30 Years.
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