May 25 2007
Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint along with U.S. Representatives Bob Inglis, Gresham Barrett, and Joe Wilson today announced the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) plans to open two new community-based clinics in Aiken and Spartanburg.
The clinics were among 38 approved in 22 states by VA Secretary James Nicholson.
"I’m very pleased with the decision by Secretary Nicholson and the VA to open two new clinics in South Carolina," said Graham. "Our state has a long and proud tradition of military service. We also have a large number of veterans who depend on the VA for their health care. The Bush Administration listened to the congressional delegation’s request for additional VA health care capacity and they responded. I appreciate their concern, understanding, and appreciation for the well-being of those who have served our nation."
"Our nation’s veterans have sacrificed so much for our freedom and we must continue to honor them by ensuring they have the quality care they deserve. I'm pleased with the decision of the Department of Veterans Affairs to open these important clinics to serve South Carolina's veterans," said Senator DeMint.
"The Spartanburg clinic will be a great service to the veterans in the Fourth District, and we appreciate the Veterans Administration responding to the need here," said Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC).
"As a fellow armed forces Veteran, I am aware and thankful of the great sacrifices our military men and women make ensuring the safety of our country and protecting the health of democracy," said Congressman Gresham Barrett. "Funding for these two clinics comes as good news to the Aiken and Spartanburg communities. Veterans in the area will now have access to facilities close to home that will give them the support services and quality of care they deserve and have earned."
"This clinic will enhance the quality of life of South Carolina veterans, addressing their healthcare needs and expanding accessibility to available services. I am pleased the VA has chosen Aiken in the Second Congressional District as the site for this new facility," said Wilson.
The new facilities, called community-based outpatient clinics, or CBOCs, will become operational in 2007 and 2008. Local VA officials will keep communities and their veterans informed of milestones in the creation of the new CBOCs.
The Aiken CBOC is projected to open nine months after receipt of approval. Its parent VA Medical Center (VAMC) will be the Augusta VA Medical Center.
Services will include comprehensive primary care, health promotion, maintenance, routine/urgent care procedures and education. Mental Health Services will include a wide range of outpatient mental health services to include medication management, substance abuse treatment/counseling, individual and group counseling, and assessment/evaluation and/or therapy.
Routine specialty care consults will normally be referred to the parent facility or to the local community on a fee for service arrangement. Basic x-rays will be delivered to the parent station and invasive radiology or more complex diagnostic imaging procedures will be referred to the Parent VAMC. Emergent care will be obtained at the nearest hospital. Laboratory services will be provided by the parent station or a contract provider. Parent VAMC, through the CMOP, will provide all routine medications.
It is anticipated that 4617existing patients and 469 new patients will be treated at the CBOC.
The Spartanburg CBOC is projected to open six to nine months after receipt of approval. Its parent VAMC will be the Columbia VA Medical Center.
Services will include comprehensive primary care, health promotion, maintenance, routine/urgent care procedures and education. TeleMentalHealth services will be instituted initially, utilizing the planned Mental Health staff at Spartanburg.
Routine specialty care consults will normally be referred to the parent facility. Basic x-rays will be delivered to the parent station and invasive radiology or more complex diagnostic imaging procedures will be referred to the Columbia VAMC. Emergent care will be obtained at the nearest hospital. Laboratory services will be provided by the parent station. Columbia VAMC, through the CMOP, will provide all routine medications.
It is anticipated that 3068 existing patients and 756 new patients will be treated at the CBOC.
With 153 hospitals and more than 700 community-based clinics, VA operates the largest integrated health care system in the country. VA’s health care budget of more than $34 billion this year will provide health care to about 5.5 million people during nearly 800,000 hospitalizations and 60 million outpatient visits.