Will there be a new VA hospital in the Chattahoochee Valley? - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Will there be a new VA hospital in the Chattahoochee Valley?

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

There was standing room only at the Harry Jackson Veterans Information Building in Columbus as the director of Central Alabama Veterans Healthcare System (CAVHS) cleared-up any confusion about the future of Veterans' healthcare in the Chattahoochee Valley area.

Columbus Mayor Tomlinson and Georgia Congressman Sanford Bishop were present for the Town Hall Meeting as well in support of the concerned veterans.

James Tolton, Director of CAVHS and a retired veteran himself, addressed the rumor of a new VA hospital in the area.

"It's not going to happen anytime soon," Tolton explained. " The VA funding depends on the  number of veterans enrolled in a medical center. The more veterans enrolled, the more funding we receive. Now, don't think of it as a bonus. It is just based on the funding needed to take care of the veterans."

There are currently 40,000 veterans just in the Columbus side of the river alone, but only 16,000 enrolled in a medical care center. 

Instead of a new VA hospital, there are plans to build and expand a new clinic. Tolton says the new facility will be about 55,000 square feet, whereas the current clinic is only 17,000 square feet.

There will be more information about this facility as the plans develop.

On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, the Veterans Information Center on 1000 Victory Drive offers free services to veterans with questions, or who need help with their healthcare options, paper work, and any veterans healthcare issue they may need more information about.

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