New Clinic for Veterans Affairs Healthcare opens on October 1st in Adrian
ADRIAN – Veterans in and near Lenawee County seeking US Veterans Department health services have been able to use a new community-based outpatient clinic in Adrian for more than a month.
The CBOC is located on the first floor of the Riverside Professional Building at 770 Riverside Ave. It is across from Adrian High School and saw its first patient on October 1st. Since then, nearly 200 patients – all veterans – have received medical care provided there.
The clinic is a branch of the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. Similar offices are in Flint, Jackson and Toledo, and two in Ann Arbor on Green Road and Packard Road.
Services at the 2,500-square-foot CBOC include primary care, mental health, social work, dietetics, and blood draws. Veterans would generally go to the Ann Arbor Maternity Hospital location for services such as vision, dental, hearing, surgical advice, cardiology, and pulmonology.
There are nearly 3,000 veterans living in the Lenawee County area, according to a VA press release. Rather than having these veterans drive to Ann Arbor, Jackson, or Toledo for VA basic care services, Adrian Clinic brings such services directly to their community.
“Now if you’re a veteran and need something basic like a blood draw, you no longer have to drive all the way to Ann Arbor for a 15-minute appointment,” said Chris Arbino, public affairs specialist for the VA Ann Arbor Health System. “That was the big thing here. We have many veterans (in Lenawee County) in need of basic services and this turned out to be the perfect place for that. ”
The site was chosen based on many factors including “the proven need to serve more veterans in the Lenawee County area,” the news release said.
Brian Hayes, a public affairs officer for the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, said the smaller outpatient clinics are important because they are in communities where many veterans live.
“And so far it’s been a pretty good and positive experience,” said Hayes. “It is really encouraging to see so many veterans already using the facility’s services.”
Christine Rosemary-Clark is the Nurse Manager at the Adrian Clinic. The nurse manager oversees daily production in every clinic, according to Hayes. There are also two doctors, two registered nurses, a licensed practical nurse and two medical assistants on the staff. As soon as the laboratory is fully open within the next two weeks, a second LPN will join the team.
Vaccinations against flu, COVID-19, shingles and pneumonia can be given at the CBOC.
“Pretty much anything a primary care laboratory can do, we do here for our veterans,” said Cathy Steele, an RN case manager from Hudson.
A majority of the CBOC’s staff are residents of Lenawee County, Steele said.
“That makes this job really fulfilling,” she says. “These are our veterans. You are part of our community. That makes it even more special to make sure their needs are met. “
The clinic’s floor plan consists of a reception and waiting area, three examination rooms, a laboratory, a break room and a toilet. It’s nothing flashy or spectacular, according to Steele, but the facility and its offerings “do the job”.
“The veterans we’ve seen always say how beautiful it looks. It’s very light and not a dark building, ”said Steele.
For many veterans, the clinic not only fulfills their medical needs, but also provides a place of entertainment that the staff says are very popular with the staff.
“It’s fun to hear their stories,” she said. “It’s fun giving them the opportunity to talk to someone because sometimes that’s really all they need. They might be frustrated about something and we can be the sounding board for them. And for some of them, we may be the only local soundboard.
“We want our district veterans to be aware of this offer.”
The ambulance works to coordinate services with veterans organizations in Lenawee County. The goal, Steele said, is to ensure that all resources work together and can be shared for the benefit of local veterans.
To contact the Adrian VA Clinic, call 734-769-7100 or 734-222-7160. The CBOC is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Further care information and appointments can also be found at www.va.gov/ann-arbor-health-care.