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Brainerd VA clinic opens at its new location

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The St. Cloud VA Medical Center opened its relocated and newly renovated Brainerd Community Based Outpatient Clinic on Monday, June 8. Clinic hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The clinic's phone number, (218) 855-1115, will not change.

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The clinic, at 722 NW 7th Street in Brainerd, is in a building that was remodeled for use by the VA. The building is owned by LAH, LLC of Brainerd, and is leased by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The new space has 12 provider exam rooms, four consultation rooms, five mental health offices, three classrooms for group therapy and nutrition classes, expanded laboratory services and space for a future radiology area. The clinic will continue to offer primary health care services and specialty care referrals to the St. Cloud and Minneapolis VA medical centers. Other services the clinic currently offers include pharmacy consultation, mental health, podiatry and nutrition services and retinal scanning. Home based primary care is provided to eligible veterans who live within a 40-mile radius of the clinic.

The larger space will allow the VA to offer additional services to veterans closer to their homes.

"We are pleased to be able to expand our space and the health care services we provide to the area's veterans," said Barry Bahl, medical center director. "We will be able to offer more laboratory services, and soon, state-of the-art imaging services at the site. We will also expand our home-based primary care and mental health services."

Currently, the clinic is staffed by 3.4 physicians, a nurse practitioner, an RN clinic coordinator, 1.7 RNs, a RN case manager, six LPNs, a psychologist, a psychiatrist, two social workers, a registered dietitian, two pharmacist and two medical clerks.

A ribbon-cutting/dedication ceremony was held on Monday, June 15, with a number of the area veterans service officers and officials of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in St. Cloud in attendance. Tours were provided following the ceremony, and a week-long grand opening is being held Monday through Friday, June 15-19, with health screenings available to area veterans between the hours of 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. A county veteran service officer and VA staff will be on site to answer veteran questions and to take applications for enrollment for VA health care.

Please see your local county veterans service officer if you have any questions. You can contact your local VSO at (218) 631-7617 or by e-mail at david.anderson@co.wadena.mn.us. As always, have a great week.

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