V.A. expands access to health care

On Friday, February 13, at 1. p.m., the VA SORCC  held an open house celebration marking its expansion into a new annex. This took place in the Asante Building at 2841 Avenue G, White City.  "Its proximity to our main campus, made it the ideal choice," said  Dan Kelly, Administrative Assistant to Dr. Max McIntosh, VA SORCC’s Director. Although considered "next door," this annex actually  sits around the corner from the main complex on Highway 62. "It’s easier to access from Avenue G.," said Kelly. "We needed more clinical space; we knew (that portion of the structure) had been sitting empty."
"We are very pleased to expand access to even more health care services for veterans." Dr.McIntosh said. "Audiology, Ears-Nose-and-Throat, Home Based Primary Care (HBPC) plus Compensation and Pension services are now housed here. This location affords quick and easy access with ample parking,".

According to Anna Diehl, Public Affairs Officer,  SORCC started using the
square-foot space in October of 2008. "We saw that even with
construction,  we were outgrowing our space," she said.  "We started
looking for something close and convenient for the veterans."  

celebration involved  an official cake-cutting, to which they’d invited
numerous dignitaries including federal and local  government officials,
and Chamber of Commerce leaders. Away in D. C. for the vote on the
stimulus package, Congressman Walden sent his regrets in the hand of
his Vet. Rep., John Howard.   
Rhonda Haney, SORCC’s Public
Affairs Specialist,  explained  the reason for scheduling the
commemoration a few months after the  actual grand opening.  "We wanted
to coordinate it with ‘National Salute to Veterans Week.’ The V. A. had
also opened new facilities in Grants Pass, and hoped to tie all of
these events into the same week."
According to Linda
Vollrath, Coordinator of the newly launched Home Based Primary Care,
her program received initial sanction on Oct. 1, 2008. Under the
direction of Mike Twiss, their staff of twelve professionals includes 
a Physician, Nurse Practitioner,  Physical Therapist, Dietician, Social
Worker, Pharmacist, Psychologist., and three R.N.s. To date, sixty-four
home-bound veterans have qualified for home visits. For a long time,
there’s been a dire need for this service, Vollarth said, but never
enough funding. She expects their client population to cap at
seventy-five, after which they’d establish a waiting list, according to
Area residents might best know the building as the
one housing the practice of Doctors Don Robertson and  Doug McMahon
since it’s inception in 1999. Their offices still remain. Laurie
Klecker, Practice Administrator, confirmed that the suite across from
them originally housed Asante’s Occupational Health Services. Later on,
an x-ray lab occupied it, eventually leaving the spot vacant until this
past October.
Ellen Tuohey,  Real Estate Specialist for
Asante said of the newest occupants, "We’re thrilled to have them and
to have their services in the building."
By F. C. Blake
Of the Independent   


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