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New local VA gets ready for 'soft opening'

The new West Point Road Corpus Christi VA clinic is a 65-thousand-square foot spacious facility.
VA Clinic.PNG
Posted at 6:49 PM, Dec 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-10 11:41:31-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Veterans in the Coastal Bend have been waiting for years for a new VA clinic, and it's finally here.

A few days ago, I was invited for an exclusive tour of the new West Point Road Corpus Christi facility, located at 925 South Padre Island Drive.

At first glance from the outside, there's plenty of parking. And the two-story building's exterior is painted island sea-blue, as a beach theme.

As I walked through the automatic sliding doors to the inside entrance, I noticed a brightly lit, spaciousness 65,000 square foot medical center.

There's an information desk and a convenient Insty Med prescription drug dispenser, because they don't have an on-site pharmacy.

On the left, you can get a snack and have coffee or a soft drink in the canteen.

"It's all about the patient experience," said Brian McDonald, the facility's administrative officer. "(The patients) get to see how things are running. They get to see this new facility
(…) be treated in this new facility, so it's just a great experience we offer them."

Before I tell you more about my tour, I must mention that the only services that will be immediately offered at the new VA clinic are primary care and mental health services.

McDonald said that's because of supply chain challenges which prevented furniture to arrive on time. However, they will hold a "soft opening" on Monday, Dec. 12.

Appointments have already been made for that day. To make an appointment, click here.

All other services will still be conducted at the current outpatient clinic on Old Brownsville Road and the specialty clinic. Eventually, all services will be moved to the new VA clinic.

There are tinted windows with the blue-green island hue to help keep the facility comfortable.

Services and procedures like radiology, CT, mammography and MRI's will eventually be offered. I noticed brand-new state-of-the air equipment and machines that are still mostly wrapped up and waiting to eventually be used.

"A lot of our veterans have a lot of issues with bone problems due to the military issues due to bones, shoulders knees back and, so this will allow us to have better imaging for the service-connected issues," said nurse manager Patricia Francis.

I noticed several privacy issues addressed with convenient dressing rooms. There are even restrooms inside the women's exam rooms.

There are dry erase boards in every exam room to visually write out symptoms and educate patients.

There's also a focus on effective care. For example, staff will use a back door to exam rooms to have immediate access to a printer to get a med list or discharge patients faster to patients.

Health classes on the second floor will provide for a more holistic approach to pro-active healthcare.

Other programs will also eventually be offered like a homeless veterans' program, medical claims and voluntary services

No date has been given as to when the all the services will move to the new clinic, but we will be sure to keep you updated.

More Veterans In Focus stories are available here, along with resources for local veterans.

Contact Veterans In Focus reporter Pat Simon at pat.simon@kristv.com