First look inside new VA clinic in Kernersville

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KERNERSVILLE, N.C. — When many of our nation’s veterans joined the service, they did so with high hopes — that when they returned — they would be treated like the heroes they are. Unfortunately for some, it didn’t pan out that way.

For years, we have heard of long wait times, poor service and backlogs in the VA system. A new VA clinic being erected in Kernersville will hopefully lessen those issues.

“The longest I’ve waited was on dental. It took me about a year and a half or so,” said Army veteran Brian Moses, who gets treated at one of the VA facilities in Winston-Salem. “We are being treated good, but it could be better.”

Currently, there are two VA care facilities in Winston-Salem. They will be combined into the new clinic, which is off Medical Parkway in Kernersville.

The clinic, which is currently under construction, will be completed in December. The staff from the two current Winston-Salem facilities will transition there in February and begin seeing patients there shortly thereafter.

The new clinic will offer services which veterans currently have to travel to other counties to receive. Those include dialysis, dental work, cardiac care and operating rooms.

“To have those services available to them right here, at the same facility where they see their primary care physician, will be a huge asset,” said Dr. Tamara Burks, interim medical director at the VA Kernersville Healthcare Center.

In addition to the added services, there will be improved quality of life at the new clinic. This includes outdoor areas, a view of a pond and natural light inside the facility.

It is the hope of the VA that after the move is made to the new facility — by combining their resources — they will be able to cut down on some of the efficiency issues they currently experience.

“When they treat patients, they’ll be able to easily move from room to room,” Dr. Burks said of the physicians. “Whereas right now they’re actually landlocked in one room for their office and exam, so it makes them much less efficient.”

VA officials say there are currently about 180 staff members divided between the two Winston-Salem facilities. In addition to those 180 employees, they say they will have to hire an additional 400 to 500 employees at the new clinic.

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