Veterans Affairs to open Joliet ‘mega-clinic’ March 11; open houses planned
By Bob Okon email@example.com February 27, 2013 1:51PM
Mike Haefs (left), with JB Electrical Contracting, carries a light fixture to an exam room as construction progresses at the Joliet Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, at 1201 Eagle St. in Joliet. The clinic is slated to open March 11. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 1, 2013 11:43AM
Veterans Affairs’ new Joliet outpatient clinic will open March 11, fulfilling a quest that started in 2007 for veterans health care closer to home.
The 60,000-square-foot facility started as an attempt to bring a veterans hospital to Joliet after Silver Cross Hospital announced it was moving to New Lenox.
While it’s not a hospital, the facility described as a “mega-clinic” by Veterans Affairs goes a long way to shortening the drive many patients now make to Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital in the west suburbs, said Jim Canup, a Braidwood veteran who was among those that pushed for the Joliet facility.
“That’s the idea of the whole thing is to get as many services here as we can to save trips to Hines,” Canup said. “It’s just a matter of how many services they bring down here and how many trips they will serve.”
Veterans Affairs now serves more than 5,000 patients out of its clinic on Glenwood Avenue.
“We’re hoping to increase that number,” said VA spokeswoman Maureen Dyman.
Open houses at the new Joliet Community Based Outpatient Clinic are being planned for sometime in late March and early April. Dyman said the VA wants to enroll more patients in Joliet by getting the word out about the new clinic and added services.
The clinic will open with primary care, women’s health care and physical therapy. It also will have mental health services, speech therapy, retinal imaging and other health care.
Future services will include eye care, cardiology, geriatric evaluation, and several other services.
The existing Joliet Community Based Outpatient Clinic on Glenwood Avenue will remain open next week as Veterans Affairs moves into the new facility.
The new facility is larger and offers more services. The open houses will be part of an outreach effort to enroll more veterans at the new clinic, Dyman said.
Veterans who are interested can call the VA enrollment hot line at 708-202-8838; go to the website www.va.gov, or stop by the existing clinic at 2000 Glenwood Ave., Joliet.