Groundbreaking held for new veterans clinic - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Groundbreaking held for new veterans clinic

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The new VA facility will provide care to North Alabama. (Artist's rendering) The new VA facility will provide care to North Alabama. (Artist's rendering)
The groundbreaking was held at 11 a.m. Thursday. The groundbreaking was held at 11 a.m. Thursday.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

The Department of Veterans Affairs broke ground Thursday morning on a new Huntsville outpatient clinic for veterans.

The 48,000-square-foot facility will be located at 500 Markaview Road between Clearview Cancer Institute and Butler High School.

The veterans clinic will bring the Madison/Decatur and Huntsville community based outpatient clinics together under one roof and provide primary care, mental health, optometry and have an onsite pharmacy. 

City leaders said the clinic is something that they, along with VA leaders, have worked on for years. Due to the ever-growing veteran population, military officials said providing the best in health care services to veterans is the driving force behind the new facility.

The facility will merge services that are provided by the Madison/Decatur and Huntsville community based outpatient clinics, and serve roughly 15-thousand veterans. The new outpatient clinic will provide primary care, mental health, audiology, optometry, and will have an onsite pharmacy.

The new facility will cost $39.5 million to build and is expected to open in the fall of 2015, but some officials believe it could be ready by summer 2015.

"We have tens of thousands of veterans in the Tennessee Valley," said Representative Mo Brooks. "Over 400-thousand in the state of Alabama, and it's only right and appropriate, that given Redstone Arsenal and all we do for national defense, that we're able to help our patient veterans with the outpatient treatment they will be able to receive at this facility."

Billy Neal, 81-years-old, is an Army veteran who served in the Korean War. He was in an Artillery Battalion. He said that caused hearing loss that grew worse over the years. The new state of the art Veteran's Outpatient Clinic will have specialty services in audiology and will have other services he needs, so when he and other veterans goes there, it's a one-stop shop for health care.

"It'll be convenient for me, and it won't be so time consuming to go to an outlying clinic or what have you," said Neal. "I'll have access to this. I can run here anytime."

The groundbreaking ceremony started at 11 a.m. Thursday and was open to the public. 

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