Veterans seeking healthcare won’t have to travel to American Lake for many services after this Mon., Aug. 16, when the new VA Olympia Outpatient Clinic opens its doors to in-person services.
The new 9,739 sq. ft. clinic is located on the upper level of Memorial Medical Plaza at 500 Lilly Road NE, close to Providence St. Peter Hospital. Several new staff will be added to a core group that has been providing care online since February of this year.
A brief outdoor ceremony attended by approximately 40 people yesterday enabled officials to thank local veterans and also the healthcare providers who have been working throughout the pandemic to serve them.
Commenting on the Olympia location of the new clinic, Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland said, “access is definitely the way we can improve service.” She added, “I want to take a moment to thank all of you who actually work in this [healthcare] field. I think sometimes when we talk about veterans we neglect the people who are here coming to work for the day, putting in the time, putting in the care and the love to make sure that those who serve are getting the high-quality care they need.”
Alfie Alvarado-Ramos, director of the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs, herself an Army veteran, said, “As a future patient of this clinic, I am just so excited about it. I know it's been a long time coming.” She explained that Thurston County has the highest number of service-connected [disabled] veterans … than any other county. So that means, there are going to be a lot of veterans who really need a lot of help, that have a lot of physical and emotional conditions that this clinic is going to be able to solve.”
Michael Tadych is the director of the VA Puget Sound Health Care System, which operates this and six other community-based outpatient clinics and the American Lake VA Health Center on Joint Base Lewis-McChord. His point to the group was, “The one thing we have seen not only at the hospital but in the different nursing homes throughout the state, is if you’re vaccinated it reduces hospitalizations and reduces death. So, please make sure you get your vaccines.”
Services at the new clinic include primary care, laboratory, behavioral health, nutrition, orthotics and prosthetics, social work and more, including classes and programs. Qualified veterans can begin setting appointments at the VA Olympia Outpatient Clinic by calling 800-329-8387.