A new outpatient health care facility is under construction to better serve the needs of veterans in the Norfolk area.
The Veterans Affairs (VA) Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System Norfolk Community-Based Outpatient Clinic is expected to move into its new, larger facility before the end of the year.
Kevin Hynes, public affairs officer with the VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System, said the new clinic being built in Norfolk would accommodate the changing health care needs of those who have served their country.
“When you look at how health care and the needs of veterans have changed over the last few years and decades, we needed more space and accessibility, and the new space is going to have that,” Hynes said.
Construction on the new facility began in March. It will be located in the western part of Norfolk on Raasch Avenue, near Sugar Plum Oak and Flooring Solutions.
Plans for the new facility will be discussed at a town hall meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 6, in the Fireplace Room at the Norfolk Senior Citizens Center.
Members of the executive board will be present for the event to talk about the plans for the new clinic, as well as changes that will be implemented as part of The VA Mission Act, which launches that day.
Katie Rasmussen, nurse manager for the Norfolk VA Outpatient Clinic, said the current location at 710 S. 13th St. is served by three primary care providers, as well as specialty care through VA Telehealth Services.
The new 9,105-square-foot facility will be significantly larger than its existing location; the extra space at the new facility will allow the Norfolk clinic to add physical therapy services to the services and specialties that are now offered.
Rasmussen said the Norfolk VA clinic serves more than 2,500 people, and the current clinic is not large enough to accommodate all of the needs of veterans it is supposed to serve in the region. Parking and accessibility also has been an issue.
“Being able to service the veterans and getting what they need in the community is what our big goal is,” Rasmussen said.
Rasmussen said a new facility for the Norfolk VA has been discussed for a long time. Hynes added with the lease on the current facility drawing to a close this year, the timing was right to start construction.
“We’re hoping to have it done by the end of the calendar year,” Hynes said.