There are currently 5,400 veterans enrolled at the Danville Veterans Affairs Community-Based Outpatient Clinic, which had it “busting at the seams” according to Chief of Staff Brenda Blackstock.
Thanks to a recently completed expansion, the Danville clinic now will be able to serve nearly 2,000 more veterans and expand services.
The clinic, located at 705 Piney Forest Road in Danville, hosted an open house Thursday afternoon to show off the new facility.
The 5,400-square-foot expansion adds more space for mental and behavioral health, telehealth and administrative assistants in the new area of the building. It also gives the clinic enough space for another primary care unit.
“We are able to provide a more expansive range of services to include behavioral health, a lot more of which than we had before,” Scott Wise, president of Valor Health Care, the contracted health care provider for the Danville clinic, said Thursday. “There’s always been a need for behavioral health, but we certainly saw an uptick in the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans coming back. There’s more traumatic brain injury, more PTSD, depression, so on and so forth.”
Previously, there were only two rooms available for telehealth use, which would allow veterans to video conference with doctors at the Salem VA clinic for some mental health issues, dermatological issues and diabetes consultations such as retinal exams. They now have five rooms that are significantly bigger and have better equipments.
“It prevents veterans from having to travel to Salem or to Durham. If they come here, it keeps them close to home,” Blackstock said. “It’s helpful especially for the ones who are older and have to rely on other people for transportation.”
During renovations, the Danville clinic also revamped and reorganized the older portion of the building in order to have more space for medicine storage and group rooms.
Danville is the only clinic in the VA that has its own X-ray department, which it has had since it opened in October 2007. Though the clinic doesn’t have a radiologist on staff, the C-rays can be read by technicians on site for any immediate needs.
“When we opened our doors on Oct. 1, 2007, we had 14 employees. We still have eight of those employees,” Blackstock said. Soon, they will have 38 employees.
Blackstock said staff members were “very excited” to have more space, and more staff
“The primary benefit of this expansion will be the veterans,” Wise said.