COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The veterans clinic in Columbus received a special visit from Georgia Congressman Sanford Bishop and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie Friday afternoon, where plans were announced to create a second clinic in downtown Columbus.
“This is going to be the mission of a new location in addition to the ones that we already have that will be located somewhere in the downtown area, which will be more accessible to those who may not have transportation,” said Bishop.
This clinic is projected to be ready in 2021, and will provide primary medical care and mental health services. Housing services will also be provided.
According to Bishop, Veterans Affairs also plans to provide transportation services so veterans can access both locations. That’s good news for Veteran Marvin Broadwater.
“I’m really elated for the veterans on Cusseta Road, Fort Benning Road, on Steam Mill Road that will only have to go downtown for some services. I am so elated today,” said Broadwater.
While in Columbus, Wilkie got a chance to tour the current VA clinic on 13th Avenue. He said since the southwest and Fort Benning area has a growing number of veterans and people who serve in the community, they need adequate and accessible healthcare.
“That is why this part of America’s military heritage deserves the attention and the care that congressman has so eloquently talked about,” said Wilkie.
The downtown clinic is expected to open in 2021, while the North Columbus facility is planned for 2022. Bishop and Wilkie caution that none of these plans are set in stone. It is an evolving process and the administration will adjust to make sure needs are met. According to Bishop, there will no longer be a need for the clinic on 13th Avenue. As the new ones open, the old clinic will eventually close.