Amarillo VA held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Feb. 1 to celebrate the newest addition to the Thomas E. Creek VA Medical Center with a 12,139 square feet Prosthetics and Rehabilitation Medicine Clinic.

The $9.9 million clinic is a continuation of VA’s efforts to modernize clinical space and provide expanded services to Veterans. The two-story clinic wing will more than triple the previous clinical space and will provide direct access for Community Living Center residents who require rehabilitation or prosthetic services.

Clinic welcomed first Veterans Feb. 7

“While our original hospital was designed to support World War II era Veterans, the needs of 21st century medical care to support our Veterans today and tomorrow require us to constantly modernize our infrastructure,” said Dr. Rodney Gonzalez, Amarillo VA director. “With this new addition we are able to marry the design elements to the functional support system which are necessary to support our Veterans.”

A new feature of the clinic will be Amarillo VA’s first ever Activities of Daily Living clinic. It will simulate a real-world living environment to aide Veterans in rehabilitation to accomplish normal day-to-day activities like making a bed or utilizing a kitchen.

“Our Activities of Daily Living apartment is one of the areas I’m really proud of in the design of this building,” Gonzalez said. “Our occupational therapists are able to help support a Veteran who may have suffered the loss of arm which impacts him or her in perfuming daily tasks we take for granted every day. That needs to be retaught.”

“To learn with people trained to do this is just amazing.”

Air Force Veteran Joe Chris Rodriguez, who participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony, agreed that the new services and the clinical improvements are critical to supporting Veterans in the greater Texas Panhandle.

“When you go through something like the loss of a limb or paralysis, to be able to live at home and go to therapy is so important,” Rodriquez said. “And to be able to learn with people who are trained to do this and help you is just amazing.”

The previous clinical space only allowed 10–15 Veterans a day to be scheduled but will now allow staff to double the number of appointments.

This will allow Amarillo VA to expand access to Veterans in need while providing them more space and privacy for their appointments.

By Joel Mease is a public affairs officer for the Amarillo VA. Photo by Linnea F. Shirley, Public Affairs, Amarillo VA.

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Published on Feb. 11, 2022

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