ABILENE, Texas — With the veteran population in the Big Country expanding, the leadership team for the West Texas VA Health Care System believes there is a growing need for a larger VA Clinic in Abilene.
At 10,000 square feet, the Abilene VA Clinic serves over 5,000 veterans each year, according to interim director Jason Cave.
It serves their patients basic needs, like mental health and telehealth services, but Cave believes they need the space to do more.
“We want to be the one stop shop," said Cave. "We want to be the place that can cover all the healthcare and social needs for veterans.”
With a bigger clinic, Cave said they would have space to expand services like physical therapy.
"Physical therapy can be something from as simple as you had a procedure and now you’re working through that to get back to your normal self and operation," said Cave.
Along with becoming more efficient, Cave said the extra room will help the VA adjust for the fastest growing demographic -- female veterans.
“There may be separate clinic areas, maybe a separate waiting room," said Cave. "There’s some things that you can think about in terms of the interior space that are more conducive to that specific population.”
KTXS spoke with several veterans, on the way into the clinic, who declined to go on camera but hope the new space will cut down on wait times.
Although the clinic can get packed during peak hours, Cave said they are not in a rush to find the right home for a bigger clinic.
“VA is here for the long haul, said Cave. "We’re gonna be there in Big Country for the long haul, and we need to do something that is done right and will last for years and years to come.”
The lease for the current clinic ends in December 2021, but Cave said it could be extended.
As of now, there is no set time from for when the new facility would open.
By Daniela Ibarra
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