SHAHEEN: KEENE CLINIC TO SEE FIRST PATIENTS ON MONDAY

Facility gives veterans access to the convenient, quality care they deserve

September 09, 2011

(Washington, DC) – Capping a long-standing fight she has waged on behalf of New Hampshire veterans, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) announced today that the US Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) Keene Outreach Clinic will open its doors next week. As the Monadnock region’s first veterans’ health services facility, the clinic will offer full-time primary care and part-time mental health services to the several thousand veterans in the region.

“It is tremendous news that Keene area veterans finally have convenient access to top-quality healthcare,” Shaheen said. “Those who serve our country courageously deserve access to the health care benefits they’ve earned. I am glad that this long-standing gap in New Hampshire’s veterans’ services has finally been addressed.”

“As a veteran, I know I speak for many that the clinic has been a long time coming.  With Senator Shaheen’s help, we now have a vet clinic for Cheshire county veterans.  We are very grateful for her assistance,” said Dwight Clark, Past Commander, American Legion Post 4 in Keene.

The clinic, located at 640 Marlboro Street, is currently ramping up its operations and will start with a limited number of patients next week. Fulltime operation will begin later this month. Patients seeking an appointment should call 603-358-4900.

Veterans have been asking for this clinic for many years and since coming to the Senate, Shaheen has made securing services for Keene-area veterans a priority. She spoke several times over the spring and summer with the GSA Regional Administrator to urge completion of the clinic as soon as possible in order to better serve the Veterans in the Keene area.  Additionally, the office has maintained constant contact with the VA and the GSA throughout the process.  Last year, Senator Shaheen convened a meeting of the VA, GSA, and area veterans to update them on the progress toward locating a site for the clinic.  The Senator and her staff also remained in regular communication with GSA throughout the location process to ensure its continued progress.

The new facility in Keene will function as an "outreach clinic" of the VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic in Brattleboro, Vermont, but will maintain its own full-time staff of four employees.  In addition to primary care services, the clinic will also house a Veterans Center, with its own entrance and separate staff, who will offer counseling and group therapy sessions for veterans.  The Keene facility is a new model for the VA, marking the first time one of its clinics that will feature both a clinic for primary care services and a Veterans Center for counseling in the same location.

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