Veteran’s Administration to open clinic in Loveland in 2022
By Shelley Widhalm
Local veterans will no longer have to travel to Cheyenne every time they need an X-ray or to see the dentist starting in 2022.
They will be able to get those services plus more at the new Northern Colorado Outpatient Clinic, which will more than double the space of the current Loveland and Fort Collins facilities. The new clinic will consist of 75,645 square feet of usable space and have 550 parking spaces.
“There will be a centralized area for both Fort Collins and Loveland to get their health care and really the entire area — it’s really northern Colorado. Rather than having smaller clinics, this will be a larger clinic to keep people from traveling up to Cheyenne for specific services,” said Sam House, public affairs officer for the Cheyenne Veterans Affairs Health Care System, which covers northern Colorado, western Nebraska and southeast Wyoming. “What this facility does is provide a greater opportunity for our veterans who are afraid to travel in traffic to get to their health-care facility without much of an issue.”
Construction on the clinic, which will be located at 4875 Byrd Drive in The Brands master-planned development in Loveland, is scheduled to begin in May 2020 and take two years to complete, for a winter 2022 opening. The cost for the initial design and construction is estimated at $15.8 million.
At the time of the opening, the Loveland and Fort Collins clinics will close — the Loveland facility opened in early 2018 at 5200 Hahns Peak Drive concurrent with the closure of the Greeley clinic.
The VA has a 10-year lease on the Loveland facility and will determine how to use the space once the clinic closes, likely for administrative purposes, House said.
The new clinic will be state-of-the-art, able to serve more than 200 veterans a day. Currently the Loveland and Fort Collins clinics serve approximately 6,000 veterans from Larimer County and 4,500 from Weld County every year, with 180,000 encounters with those veterans for the different services they offer.
The veterans will be served by 60 staff members added to the 140 at the two facilities — there are 80 in Loveland and 60 in Fort Collins.
“We will be hiring additional personnel to cover more patient aligned care teams,” House explained.
Services at the clinic will remain the same as those in Loveland and Fort Collins, with the addition of the radiology and dental services. The services include expanded primary care services, expanded home tele-health, and continuation of the patient aligned care team that includes mental health, pharmacology and chaplain services. There also are laboratory, physical therapy, optometry and audiology services.
“The biggest thing is that huge investment the VA is putting in northern Colorado,” House said. “We’ve seen growth in northern Colorado, and this is a long time in coming.”
One-third of veterans eligible to access services at the Loveland and Fort Collins clinics are using the local services, House said.
“This really is an opportunity for individuals to come in and take advantage of these services that they deserve.”
The hours at the new clinic will be the same as the Loveland and Fort Collins clinics, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.
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