MUSKEGON, MI – A new, larger veterans clinic to address increasing demand for medical services will be built in Muskegon County.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is planning a 23,000-square-foot medical clinic at the corner of East Apple Avenue and Walker Road in Muskegon Township, VA Public Affairs Officer Brian Pegouske told MLive/ Muskegon Chronicle.
That’s more than double the size of the current clinic at 5000 Hakes Drive in Norton Shores, Pegouske said. That clinic, located near the Muskegon County Airport, will close when the new one opens, likely in spring 2023, Pegouske said.
“We look forward to bringing a modern facility to the veterans in Muskegon and looking at what serves we can bring closer to them,” Pegouske said.
Since the VA first opened a Muskegon medical clinic 23 years ago, office visits have increased by nearly 1,300%, according to MLive records.
Like the existing clinic, the new one will offer primary care and mental health services, Pegouske said. Officials are considering additional services, though which ones aren’t yet clear, he said.
“We’ll evaluate the services as it gets closer to the opening,” he said.
The Muskegon clinic offers some specialty health services, including treatment for hearing loss, nutritional counseling, palliative care for serious illness, laboratory and pathology services, psychiatric and psychological services and treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.
It also has social workers onsite to assist veterans, family members and caregivers with a myriad of needs, including housing and financial counseling.
The Muskegon clinic served 5,200 patients in 2021 with 31,000 outpatient visits, Pegouske said. That’s grown significantly since 2010, when there were a total of 11,150 visits by 3,040 veterans, MLive reported earlier.
The current clinic opened in 2012 with 8,000 square feet of space, considerably larger than the 2,400 square feet at its previous site on Muskegon County’s campus at 165 E. Apple Ave.
When the Muskegon satellite office first opened in 1998, it served 750 veterans with 2,250 visits the first year, MLive reported earlier.
The Muskegon clinic is one of five satellite offices operated by the VA Battle Creek Medical Center. Others are located in Grand Rapids, Wyoming, Benton Harbor and Lansing.
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