When Air Force Veteran Shawn Yonley would plan his visits to the Dallas VA Medical Center to receive care, he would usually plan for the entire day to include travel time on the train from his home in Plano.

With the new expansion of the Plano VA outpatient clinic, Yonley is now just a short trip away from care.

The Plano VA Outpatient Clinic opened in 2016 in a 10,000 square-foot space. Recently, the clinic added approximately 10,000 square-feet of clinical space. It also added a seventh Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) to help meet the growing Veteran population in the surrounding areas.

These additions allow VA North Texas to serve an additional 1,300 Veterans. It also increases the care footprint of one of the most concentrated, fastest growing Veteran populations in the U.S.

Yonley was the first Veteran to be seen by Plano’s new PACT team.

“I don’t have to travel so far.”

“Today’s visit to the Plano clinic was very efficient,” he said. “I like that I don’t have to travel so far now to get VA services. It’s right here in Plano. That’s better than getting on the train and taking a 90-minute ride to get to the VA hospital in South Dallas.”

Pictured above, Yonley is seen by Nurse Mercy Njoki.

Dr. Dilruba Khanam and Nurse Mercy Njoki prepare to see their first patient.

The Plano VA outpatient clinic currently serves more than 7,000 Veterans and performs a wide range of healthcare services including primary care, nursing, clinical pharmacy, blood draws, dietician, social work services, mental health and telehealth services.

“The Plano clinic has experienced tremendous growth in both our male and female Veteran populations over the past two years,” said Antron Patton. Patton is operations administrator and a U.S. Army Veteran. “In 2018, we added a sixth PACT and the demand has steadily increased. Plans were made to renovate and expand the clinic to accommodate the need for in-demand outpatient services.”

Female provider added to team

The number of female Veterans continues to grow across VA North Texas. As a result, leadership hired a female provider for the seventh PACT team. She will focus on taking care of female Veterans.

“Our new PACT team addition is significant. We are going to expand our female Veteran care and outreach,” said Amy Oommen, Nurse Manager, Plano VA Outpatient Clinic. “We have one female provider on staff and are adding another one to focus on taking care of our female Veterans.

“All of our providers take care of female Veterans, but when you have a female taking care of female Veterans, I think it makes them feel more comfortable.”

Jennifer Roy is a public affairs specialist for the VA North Texas Health Care System.

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Published on Sep. 29, 2020

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