Ceremony kicks off finishing stages of Joplin VA clinic

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Joplin-area veterans should have access to a local Veterans Affairs clinic in about six months.About 300 veterans and active military personnel, staff of the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks, and local dignitaries celebrated a construction kickoff Tuesday for the new Joplin Community Based Outpatient Clinic.”Within the Joplin clinic that we are constructing, veterans will have access to primary care, mental health, limited lab services, radiology services and hearing aid services. And, in addition, we are here to provide telephone medicine to our veterans,” said Bryan Matthews, medical center director at the Fayetteville (Arkansas) Veterans Affairs Hospital.

“Veterans will continue to be able to receive specialty services through our main facility in Fayetteville,” Matthews said. “Then we will always look to partner with community providers and health care systems to make sure that veterans are taken care of” when medical care is sought outside the VA.Mayor Mike Seibert welcomed the crowd and the clinic operation to Joplin.

Veteran Jimmy Burgess signs a canvas during Tuesday’s event for the new the VA outpatient clinic at 3015 S. Connecticut Ave. in Joplin. GLOBE | ROGER NOMER

“I cannot think of a better way than to provide a facility like this to express to our veterans, in a tangible way, our great appreciation for your sacrifice,” the mayor said.The clinic is not being built from the ground up. A new building already exists at 3015 S. Connecticut Ave. The exterior is finished, and now the interior is to be finished to VA specifications by mid- to late summer by local contractor Charlie Kuehn and Four-States Homes, said building owner Rodney Spriggs.Benjamin Campeau, a retired engineer with the VA at Fayetteville, was credited at the ceremony with helping to place a center in Joplin. He said the Joplin clinic came about as …


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