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VA to Open 14 New Clinics in Seven States

Peake: Health Care Closer for Veterans

WASHINGTON, March 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Veterans in seven additional states will have easier access to world-class health care under a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) plan to open 14 new outpatient clinics in 2008. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake today announced that VA will establish new clinics in Arkansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Washington.

"VA is dedicated to providing the best in health care to the men and women who have served this nation in uniform," Peake said. "These new clinics will bring that care closer to veterans who have earned it through their service."

Locations for the new clinics are:

-- Arkansas - Phillips County

-- Illinois - Coles County

-- Indiana - Scott County

-- Kentucky - Carroll County, Christian County and Graves County

-- Oklahoma - Stillwater

-- Tennessee - Bolivar, Campbell County, Dyer County, Roane County, Sevier County and Warren County

-- Washington - Lewis County

The new clinics are scheduled to activate in 2008. The exact locations of the new facilities, along with their opening dates and the health care services they will provide, have to be determined. VA has previously approved 50 additional clinics that will begin providing services in 2008 for a total of 64 new clinics throughout the country this year.

With 153 hospitals and more than 700 community-based clinics, VA has the nation's largest integrated health care system. The Department's health care budget of over $36 billion this year will provide care to about 5.5 million veterans.

"Community-based medicine is better medicine," said Dr. Michael Kussman, VA's Under Secretary for Health. "It makes preventive care easier for patients, helps doctors have closer relationships with their patients and permits easier follow-up for patients with chronic health problems."

Many of the new clinics were designated as priorities under VA's Capital Asset Realignment for Enhanced Services (CARES) plan. CARES, completed in 2004, was intended to ensure that VA uses its resources as effectively and efficiently as possible.

SOURCE U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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