The Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks in Fayetteville, AR, has begun endoscopy services at the Gene Taylor Community Based Outpatient Clinic in Springfield, MO.

Previously, Veterans received this service at the main facility in Fayetteville or at contract facilities. Now, Veterans have it at their fingertips.

“I am very excited to make a difference in the southwest area of Missouri,” said Dr. Donald Thompson, head physician at the Springfield VA Clinic. “It has a large Veteran community, and they desperately needed this clinic and expanded services.”

His first endoscopy patient, Air Force Veteran James Kennedy, couldn’t agree more. Kennedy has been coming to the Springfield Clinic since it first started seeing patients in late 2018.

“Great to know they are here for me.”

Kennedy recommends VA to his fellow Veterans any chance he can.

“They say I won’t have to come back for another check for 10 years, but it’s great to know they’re here for me. The staff is friendly and helpful and very professional.”

He added that he’s thankful for the great care and also that he doesn’t have to drive hours for a procedure.

Pictured above, Dr. Thompson talks with Kennedy.

The Springfield VA Endoscopy services include diagnostic screenings of the esophagus, stomach and portions of the intestines. The clinic provides primary care, mental health, dental, optometry, radiology, sleep labs, prosthetics, pulmonary functions – and now endoscopy.

More than 9,000 Veterans now closer to primary care services

When the new 68,000 square-foot clinic opened in Springfield in late 2018, the facility provided 33,000 more square-feet than its predecessor. It also added an additional 69 jobs to the community. The clinic brings more than 9,000 Veterans within a 30-minute drive of primary care services.

Medical Center Director Kelvin Parks provided frequent updates to the community and inside looks on the construction while it was anxiously being awaited by local Veterans.

“Our Springfield clinic replaced the the Mount Vernon VA Clinic, which had served Veterans for nearly 30 years,” Parks said. “We wanted to make sure Veterans were kept up to date on the opening and how the transition would look. By putting the clinic in Springfield, we hoped to reach more Veterans in need of vital health care services.”

Now with the opening of endoscopy services in Springfield, VA hopes local Veterans find the ease of services a welcome addition.

April Eilers is a visual information specialist for the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks in Fayetteville, AR.

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Published on May. 14, 2021

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