VA and Community Clinics shifting operations


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As part of a tri-state maneuver to preserve resources and equipment for the sickest veterans, the Chillicothe VA and Community Clinics are shifting operations to preserve resources this weekend in preparation for an anticipated surge of COVID-19 patients.

This shift in operation includes all VA Medical Centers across the Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 10. VISN 10 oversees all VA Medical Centers in Cleveland, Columbus, Chillicothe, Dayton, Cincinnati, Northern Indiana, Indianapolis, Detroit, Saginaw, Mich., Battle Creek, Mich., and Ann Arbor,Mich.

Effective Monday, many of the community-based outpatient clinics (CBOCs) in these areas will temporarily move to triage and virtual care only. Routine primary care appointments at the Chillicothe VA and Community Clinics in Athens, Cambridge, Lancaster, Marietta, Portsmouth and Wilmington will be converted to virtual care appointments, as appropriate.

“This measure is in the best interest of our nation’s heroes,” said Kathy Berger, director, Chillicothe VA Medical Center. “We are working to eliminate unnecessary face-to-face contact to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 and maximize our resource allocation to help treat the sickest veterans. We remain open for business and our mission is unchanged from the charge President Abraham Lincoln gave us more than 150 years ago: “To care for him who shall have borne the battle.”

For veterans in these affected areas who have questions about routine medical care, pharmacy refills, or needing to speak to a medical provider, call your health care clinic as listed below.

* Chillicothe VA 740-773-1141

* Wilmington Clinic 740-773-1141

* Athens Clinic 740-592-7720

* Cambridge Clinic 740-432-1963

* Lancaster Clinic 740-653-6145

* Marietta Clinic 740-568-0412

* Portsmouth Clinic 740-353-3236

In addition, the following services have extended their hours of operation during the COVID-19 outbreak.

* Local Contact Center is available 7:30 to 8 p.m. on weekdays; weekend and after-hours calls will transfer to the regional contact center. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 17273 SR 104, Chillicothe.

* Telephone triage nurse available 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays.

“The Chillicothe VA greatly values its veterans’ understanding and flexibility as we continue to adapt to the continual changes impacted by COVID-19. We are committed to providing our veterans quality healthcare and meeting their daily heath needs with minimized risk to this virus. We will return to normal operations as soon as we can,” a news release said.

Submitted by Stacia Ruby, public affairs officer, Chillicothe VA Medical Center.

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