Veteran’s Clinic in Craig to move services | CraigDailyPress.com

Veteran’s Clinic in Craig to move services

Officials started the process of finding a new home for the VA clinic currently located in the old hospital on Russell Street in Craig.

— News that the old hospital on Russell Street will close and be demolished is of concern for area veterans receiving care at the Veterans Affairs clinic housed in the building, but work is already underway to relocate the VA.

"It's the lifeline of a lot of veterans. There are a lot of senior veterans using the clinic, and they may not be able to access services elsewhere," said Johnny Garcia, commander of the post 4265 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Craig.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs already has initiated the process to find a new location in Craig.

"We are confident that we will be able to have continuity of services for veterans in that area," said VA Contracting Officer Aeonard “Royal” Borel.

The Major William E. Adams, Craig Veterans Tele-Health Clinic in Craig provides access to primary care services for veterans in Northwest Colorado, southwest Wyoming and northeast Utah.

"Craig is really a transportation nexus … and a really good location, so, at this time, there is no consideration to move it out of Craig," said Paul Sweeney, public affairs officer of the Grand Junction Veterans Healthcare System.

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A comprehensive mechanical, electrical, plumbing evaluation was made of the Russell Street property that is currently home to The Memorial Health Medical Clinic and Northwest Colorado Health in addition to the VA clinic.

"The conclusion is that most of the building should be vacated and demolished," said Memorial Regional Health CEO Andy Daniels.

The property leased by Northwest Colorado Health is still sound and would remain as part of a the draft master site plan unveiled by Daniels to the public during Coffee and a Newspaper on March 1.

Before a timeline is set for closure of the Russell Street facilities, there are a number of steps that must be taken including the following.

• Approval of the site plan by the hospital board.

• Development of a financial feasibility study.

• Financing and construction of new medical space.

"We are being proactive. When they initially informed us of their intentions we began putting together a contracting packet, as they do take a bit of time," Sweeney said.

There is also a back-up plan should the clinic need to move before a more permanent, space is available.

"It could take awhile," Sweeney said. "We would look at using a mobile clinic as a filler should a new location not be ready in time for a move."

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.