BURLINGTON, August 2 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today announced that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will open a new community-based health clinic in Newport, Vt. this month.
The clinic will provide veterans in the Northeast Kingdom greater access to primary health care without having to travel long distances.
“People who have put their lives on the line for our country deserve the best health care we can provide and that means providing care where they live,” Sanders said. “The Newport clinic should save veterans who live in the Northeast Kingdom a lot of time and trouble traveling to White River Junction to get the care they deserve.”
Sanders is a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. To address health care needs of veterans in rural areas, Sanders urged the VA to open another Community-Based Outpatient Clinic in the Newport area after hearing from Northeast Kingdom veterans.
The new clinic will open its doors on August 12 on the campus of North Country Hospital at 189 Prouty Drive in Newport. A grand opening is scheduled for noon on September 9. The clinic, initially, will open every Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and two Wednesdays every month from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. The clinic could expand its hours of operation, size and service available if demand dictates such a change.
The community clinics usually provide access for veterans to primary care physicians, laboratory tests, medications, mental health services, and preventative services such as flu shots.
Community Based Outpatient Clinics are part of a national effort to transition the VA from a hospital bed-based system of care to a more efficient health care system focused on primary care. These clinics are chosen based on an analysis of the distance to other health care services, accessibility, relationships to other veterans’ services, and possible care-provider partnerships.
The Newport clinic will be the sixth operated by the White River Junction VA Medical Center. The other clinics serving Vermonters are in Bennington, Brattleboro, Colchester, Rutland, and Littleton, N.H.