The Texarkana Veteran community and Overton Brooks VA Medical Center celebrated the opening of a bright, new and modern Community-Based Outpatient on Aug. 15, 2022. With the snip of ceremonial scissors, 21,000 square feet of medical care, mental health services, physical therapy, women’s health, and many needed services opened to area Veterans.
After two years of construction, Veteran anticipation was high.
“I’ve been coming to the previous Texarkana clinic for more than 25 years,” said Korea and Vietnam Veteran Jesse M. Hernandez. “This is a beautiful place; I’ve always been well taken care of at the previous clinic and at the hospital in Shreveport.”
Wide range of services available to the Texarkana area
The new clinic features 27 primary care patient rooms, dedicated women’s health care, mental health services, audiology, optometry, and lab services. Radiology and physical therapy round out the services Veterans can utilize.
“This clinic is awesome,” said retired Chief Petty Officer Debra Conley. “This is a large clinic. Veterans don’t need to go to Shreveport because they can get what they need here.”
Overton Brooks Director Richard Crockett oversaw the morning ceremony and cut the ribbon alongside John Thomas, VA Office of Real Property, Southcentral VA Health Care Network Director Dr. Skye McDougal, and Blue Cord Design and Construction President Eric Dodson.
Anticipating Veteran visits to double
During the ceremony, Hernandez, Conley, and long-time CBOC employee Susan Rayburn were each recognized for their advocacy and support of the new clinic.
“I was one of the first nurses to start in the Texarkana CBOC,” said Rayburn. “I have seen many changes, and it has not all been easy, but I’ve had a beautiful career.”
Conley received two challenge coins from Crockett, honoring her service to community Veterans and support of the new clinic.
Construction on the $5 million building began in June 2020. The previous clinic logged more than 22,000 visits annually and VA anticipates that to double with the opening of the new clinic.