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New VA clinic readies to open next month

Area veterans are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel for the opening of Pahrump’s long-awaited Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic on Lola Lane.

The soft opening for the $12.1 million Pahrump Community Based Outpatient Clinic is scheduled for Nov. 2-4. A ribbon cutting and grand-opening celebration are set for Nov. 10.

Clinical operations at the new facility are scheduled to begin Nov 7.

Charles Ramey, chief of Public Affairs for the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare Systems, said VA officials received the keys to the facility late last month, adding construction on both the interior and exterior is complete.

“The facility was turned over to the VA from the builder/lessor on Sept. 19,” he said.

Ramey said the VA will spend the next month preparing the facility for clinical operations. He noted the project ran ahead of schedule.

“There were no delays and the VA is very pleased as the facility was completed early and turned over to the VA ahead of the original estimated completion date, which was January 2017.”

One important message Ramey conveyed is the fact that operations at the existing VA facility along Calvada Boulevard will cease later this month.

“The last day for scheduled clinic operations at the existing facility in Pahrump is Oct. 27,” he said. “There will be no scheduled clinic operations in Pahrump from Oct. 28 through Nov. 1 due to the staff move, final setup and transfer of the phone and IT systems to the new location.”

Ramey also said the facility is not scheduled to handle clinical operations until Nov. 7, at the earliest, as staff and equipment will be under transition beginning this month.

“We are spending the next month and a half transitioning it into a medical care facility,” he said. “This includes installing new furniture and equipment, ensuring compliance with health and safety requirements, and training staff.”

He noted that the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System intends to kick off Veterans Day weekend with a public grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony. The start time is still being determined.

“We plan to host the grand opening Nov. 10, but the clinic will be closed Nov. 11 for Veterans Day,” he said. “Once operations begin, veterans can expect and receive the same level of care and services they were receiving at the old facility with expanded space for telehealth and primary care services.”

On the issue of personnel, Ramey said the levels in Pahrump will remain unaffected when the new clinic opens its doors.

“Staffing in Pahrump will remain unchanged,” he said. “However, with the expansion of space for telehealth and use of other technology, such as secure messaging and MyHealtheVet, the VA anticipates being able to provide veterans in Pahrump with additional access to primary care and mental health services from the medical center.”

Ramey also said the old VA facility on Calvada is a leased building, which will eventually be returned to the lessor.

The new facility broke ground in January in an event attended by federal, state and county leaders and elected officials.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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