Veterans to hear about clinic changes at meeting

By Mike Hayward

Special to The PREVIEW

You may have read The Pagosa SUN’s article in the Feb. 6 edition titled, “Expanded services for veterans on the horizon.” In the article, it stated that, “The Durango VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic will increase services and hire an additional doctor in order to shorten wait times for appointments. The clinic will also soon be under new management.”

At Veterans for Veterans’ upcoming March 18 meeting, we will have Dr. Wagner and Karen Smith from the New Mexico Healthcare System, who will be talking to the group about the transition and changes at the Durango clinic scheduled to take place on April 1. This will be a good opportunity to find out what services will be offered, when the expansion will be completed, if appointments made before the management change will be honored, if there will be a change in staffing/procedures, what the additional space is going to be used for, and anything else you would like to know. You don’t need to be a member to attend, so if you are a veteran, know a veteran, or are just interested, you are welcome to attend.

On a positive note, the Pagosa Springs Medical Center has signed a contract to be a provider of specialty services for the VA. This contract will require referral from the veteran’s primary care physician and pre-authorization from the VHA for all services except for emergencies. We are still working through some minor issues with the VA New Mexico Healthcare System on what services will be authorized and how to inform primary care physicians at the Durango and Farmington clinics of the availability of these services. We will keep you informed/updated on the progress of this effort.

Just a reminder this year we are adding an event that we hope becomes our signature annual event. The event is the Veterans for Veterans golf tournament, which is scheduled to take place on May 17. Look for more information/details about this event in the future.

The Veterans for Veterans of Archuleta County meet weekly at the Quality Resort on the west end of town every Tuesday at 10 a.m.

Veterans for Veterans of Archuleta County is a local nonprofit organization developed to meet the needs of local veterans, including financial assistance, help during a move, transportation to a medical appointment, help in filing VA claims or dealing with the VA, providing firewood or water, help paying rent and utilities, finding housing/assistance for homeless veterans, computer/technical assistance, help during emotional distress, visiting shut-in veterans and those in the nursing home, plus much more.

If you would like to make a donation to help our local veterans, you can mail it to: Veterans for Veterans of Archuleta County, P.O. Box 5331, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

It is only through the generosity of our compassionate donors that the Veterans for Veterans of Archuleta County can offer its support to Archuleta County veterans and their families in times of great stress.