Veteran Affairs to open new West Side Health Care Center - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Department of Veteran Affairs to open new Health Care Center

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The Department of Veterans Affairs has spent the last six years planning and constructing a new health care center in Evansville.

It's now open at East Waterford Boulevard on the city's east side.

Technologist Debi Kendle says staff will now have five rooms to draw blood and take samples, a big improvement from the old clinic, which had only one station.

"It was very crowded. It was elbow to elbow room out in the lobby waiting for labs, and a lot of times the vets had to wait one to two hours," Kendle says.

Space will no longer be a concern at the new center.

It's 95,000 square feet, three times bigger than the old clinic downtown.

It has 74 exam rooms, 82 clinic spaces, and state of the art technology, including a new CT scan machine that staff says veterans used to have to drive all the way to Marion to use.

Vietnam veteran Ron Volkman says he sees the difference.

"It's amazing.  For a decade, I've been going to the old location. This is just fantastic."

The Medical Center Director Paul Bockelman says there are plans to expand and include chemotherapy and outpatient surgery.

"We have purchased the equipment, and now we're just going to get going on the hiring of the staff," says Bockelman.

As clinic officials make plans for the future of the clinic Volkman sees what it means to the new generation of vets.

"Driving up, what it showed me is that we are giving our troops today, the men and women, what they're due and that's important to them," Volkman says.

The center will start taking appointments on Monday.

Bockelman says the city bus system has made a stop for the Veterans Health Care Center.

For more information about the new facility, click here.

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