NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) – A new veteran’s clinic is under construction in New London.
The new John J. McGuirk Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic is expected to give veterans who go there a much better experience as well as expanded services.
“This is like one of the bigger conference rooms,” the property engineer told Congressman Joe Courtney who took a tour of the new John J. McGuirk Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic which is still under construction.
It’s not just bigger conference rooms in the new space which will provide medical care to veterans in southeastern Connecticut.
“This will as I mentioned be our largest community based outpatient clinic,” said Al Montoya, CEO of VA Connecticut Healthcare System. “It’s growing from 5,000 to 15,000 square feet.”
Fitting since the Navy and Coast Guard have brought to the area the highest concentration of veterans in the state.
The New London clinic is expected to move to its new location also in the Shaw’s Cove business park this fall.
As News 8 reported in a story from 2017 showing the cramped quarters of the current clinic it may be long overdue.
“It’s one of the number one issues that we hear about in our office,” said Congressman Joe Courtney, (D) Connecticut.
That issue is veterans now have to travel to West Haven or Newington for specialty care services.
“That’s a hardship particularly for some of the older veterans in terms of driving and just the hassle of the scheduling,” said Cong. Courtney.
“We’re adding phlebotomy. We’re adding optometry,” said Montoya. “We’re adding specialty care as well as doubling our primary care and mental health space.”
“They’re just going to be amazed,” said Assistant Nurse Manager Grace Crowley.
She is excited to be able to offer veterans a better healthcare experience.
“That’s our main goal is to always make them feel like they’re number one,” said Crowley. “They did so much for our country and being able to get them everything they need and get it close by and not having to drive an hour is crucial.”
There are six community-based outpatient clinics throughout the state and the next one slated to be expanded is in Waterbury.
“We look at what services we want to add to those clinics,” said Montoya.
The hope is the services match the needs of those who served.