Veterans no longer have to drive to Downtown Los Angeles for basic healthcare
By Galen Patterson
The Interim San Gabriel Valley Community Based Outpatient Clinic held a grand opening in Arcadia on Friday. The outpatient clinic is a branch of the West Los Angeles VA hospital, which handles the medical care of all veterans in the greater Los Angeles area. This clinic is the first VA clinic to open in the San Gabriel Valley since the Pasadena office closed 8 years ago.
The outpatient clinic creates a unique draw for Arcadia now that veterans will no longer have to commute to Downtown Los Angeles or Rancho Cucamonga.
Several people spoke at the grand opening, including Mayor April Verlato, Congresswoman Judy Chu and Congresswoman Grace Napolitano. The waiting room was tightly packed with attendees, as well as the connecting hallway, all the way to the elevators as the speakers commemorated the occasion.
Immediately following the ceremony, walking tours were given of the facility, followed by a free lunch in the courtyard and parking structure below the office.
“This is huge for Arcadia,” said State Assembly Candidate and Arcadian Burton Brink.
The outpatient clinic currently offers primary care, women’s health and mental health services including psychiatry and psychology.
On the list of services the office is expected to offer soon is a lab for drawing and testing blood samples, said Advanced Medical Support Assistant Joseph Recinos. Recinos, a veteran himself, says he is excited about the new clinic because he gets to help more veterans.
This clinic owes its existence in part to Congresswoman Chu, who in a press release said she has been working on this plan for 7 years. “This new clinic is great news for our veterans,” the press release reads.
The 4,999-square-foot facility is referred to as interim because of its temporary location. While currently servicing the entire San Gabriel Valley through Arcadia, the clinic is actively searching for a more permanent location in the area where they will be able to offer more services and treat more patients.
“I look forward to continuing our work as we establish a permanent, full-service clinic in the next 3-5 years” said Chu in a press release.
At launch, the outpatient clinic had 300 patients, which it had acquired since its soft opening in May and has the services to care for many more.
For veterans seeking to change their primary care to the Arcadia outpatient clinic, veterans can make an appointment by calling (877) 251-7295.