Kansas City VA clinic opens; services include primary and behavioral care
TOPEKA – Paul Mimms said he wanted to honor veterans who lost their sight in battle or when they returned home.
Mimms, the vice president of the National Blinded Veterans Association, touted a new veterans outpatient clinic in Kansas City for doing just that, providing dedicated services. When the clinic opened, he presented the facility with a bronze braille flag.
He said the flag would be a teaching lesson for young blind people who have never seen the American flag and show their commitment to treating those who fought for it.
“We veterans left our comfortable homes and our country to serve under this flag,” Mimms said. “Some of us came back without a vision. Some of us came back and got old and lost our sight. No matter. As we move forward, we want to bring these people with us.
The new facility is approximately 5,000 square feet and services include primary care, lab work, pharmacy teleconsultation, virtual care, and behavioral health services. It is planned to introduce physiotherapy, chiropractic care and acupuncture.
Rudy Klopfer, director of VA Eastern Kansas Health Care, said the clinic might not be as large as other facilities, but will provide essential veteran-friendly services.
“It’s a building, yes, but what happens in this building, and I will say in other buildings because we have a big telehealth presence here, is healing and can be healing and soothing,” Klopfer said.
The clinic opening comes a year after the opening of a 23,000 square foot clinic in Lenexa. Last month, rural veterans health care advocates have won a key victory in maintaining veterans services in eastern Kansas, when a group of bipartisan U.S. senators blocked a commission examining recommendations to overhaul the VA health care system.
The clinic will be open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Republican US Senator from Kansas, Jerry Moran, touted the accessibility this clinic would provide. He said many veterans might struggle without a car or access to public transportation.
“Distance matters in Kansas,” Moran said. “The distance can be physical. A long way to go, certainly in the part of Kansas where I come from, we have been through this.