Aug 25, 2011 11:55 PM by Maddie Garrett

VA Super Clinic Moving Forward, Politicians Help

The VA Super Clinic is getting closer to becoming reality in Lafayette, partly because of the help of Acadiana's politicians.

Lafayette's Veterans Coalition had both good and bad news to share with its members at Thursday night's meeting at the Clifton Chenier Center. The good: Negotiations are underway on the new super clinic. The bad: they still don't know where it will be.

Jon Palmintier heads up the VA Coalition's Medical Advisory Board, and said they can confirm a few more things about the new clinic.

"We do know we're going to have a larger clinic, there's going to be some specialty services, some dental services, so we know things are going to be better," said Palmintier.

But he also said they were turned down for a home health division, and are still waiting to find out if the clinic will have a minor surgery area.

"Just to take care of what we call lumps and bumps," he explained.

Even though these are just a few answers to dozens of questions about the super clinic, Palmintier said he feels good about the progress, and he has Acadiana's lawmakers to thank.

"I think without them we wouldn't have made a lot of progress, so we really appreciate all of their support," said Palmintier.

KATC caught up with our legislators this week to get their outlook on the super clinic.

"We've been working with the veterans here in Lafayette in helping them to achieve the super clinic that we anticipate is coming here into Lafayette," said Rep. Jeff Landry (R-LA 7)

Sen. David Vitter (R-LA 1) also saying, "It's a greatly expanded VA clinic with a lot more services and thats in the works, I've been working with the veterans coalition on that."

Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA 3) said he's taken a particular interest as well, and has written letters and made several calls to get the ball rolling.

"I would expect in the next year or two we should see this completed, and I'm going to be pushing to get beyond the bureaucracy and delays so that this does come to fruition," said Boustany.

But the VA still hasn't confirmed where the clinic will be, something the Palmintier thinks will be made public soon.

"At our next meeting the most wonderful thing would be able to say here's our clinic, here's where it's going to be, here's the size of it," he said.

The VA Coalition's next public meeting will be at the Clifton Chenier Center, Thursday, Sept. 22 at 7:00 p.m.



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