Ribbon cutting ceremony held at the new veterans clinic in Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Veterans, community members, and government officials gathered on Friday, February 24 for a ribbon cutting ceremony in Fairbanks.
After years of planning and effort, Fairbanks is opening a new clinic to serve the needs of veterans in Interior Alaska. Thomas Steinbrunner, Executive Director with the Alaska VA Healthcare System, called it “a facility that’s fitting of the men and women that serve our veterans and the veterans entrusted to our care.”
The Community-Based Outpatient Clinic, located on the 2nd floor of the Mountain View Medical Center on Phillips Field Road, follows the much smaller clinic previously used at Bassett Army Community Hospital on Fort Wainwright.
“The center will improve outcomes for veterans, increasing their access to the best care. Seeing it firsthand, I can say that this center is simply amazing,” said Denis McDonough, Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
The new clinic will provide primary care and physical therapy, acupuncture and chiropractic care. Being off-base, the center is expected to be easier for veterans to access.
To honor the occasion, cabinet member McDonough visited Fairbanks, along with Senators Dan Sullivan, Lisa Murkowski, and Representative Mary Peltola.
“This new clinic represents a commitment from the VA that is being fulfilled, and it’s being fulfilled here and in other parts of our state,” Sullivan said.
Meanwhile, Murkowski explained, “It’s one thing to show our respect. It’s one thing to be there to recognize for ceremonies, and it’s another thing to demonstrate it with the care that we provide after you have fulfilled your service.”
Local veteran and Purple Heart recipient Benno Cleveland delivered the convocation, and talked about what this project means to those who have served. “I ask that you bless this clinic, that facilities will do a good job for those veterans that justly deserve the services that are rendered here, that you bring good medical staff, and you allow our veterans to heal in a good way,” he said.
The clinic has already begun seeing clients.
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