Monday marks the opening of the Haverhill veterans clinic’s new downtown Haverhill location.
In the first of a two-phase plan, primary care associated with the VA Bedford Healthcare System’s Haverhill Community Based Outreach Clinic moves from Merrimack Street to the Medical Arts Center building at 209 Summer St. Chief of Public Affairs Kat Bailey says phase two comes later this year when additional specialties become available.
“In the second phase, coming this summer, we’re going to take the additional space that we leased and we’re going to be building that out specifically to be able to add additional treatment rooms, exam rooms, the specialty care clinics, more space for mental health treatment, more space for women’s health as well as adding a laboratory. What that means is that people from the area will be able to go to the Haverhill clinic as opposed to trying to maneuver their way to over to Bedford where the main laboratory is,” she notes.
Bailey, a recent guest on WHAV’s morning program, says the goal is to provide expanded care for veterans in the community, instead of having to travel to the main location in Bedford
“If we can provide care in the community where our veterans live, that’s really advantageous because we want to reduce exposure for them and for us. But, we also want to make things convenient and this is one of the biggest things we can do by doubling our overall clinic size in that new location, we really hope that veterans will see the convenience and know that their expanded care is all we are looking for, is to take care of them,” she explains.
Bailey notes the Haverhill clinic is the oldest of the outreach clinics, with the others in Lynn and Gloucester. The move follows the expiration of the lease at 108 Merrimack St. The new location, at the corner of Summer and Mill Streets, is less than a mile away and offers on-site parking.
Bailey praises the services that are offered and she speaks from experience.
“So I’m a veteran myself and I get my care at the VA. I choose to do that. I am blown away by the passion that these employees have for their jobs and for taking care of veterans. During the pandemic, when everything was just insanely crazy during the first surge, I’ve never seen people work so hard, so diligently and care so, so much for their patients, of which I am one. Yes, I might be the PR person but I’m also a veteran and I’m always going to speak truth about my own care, and that has just blown me away,” she says.
She says a ribbon cutting is planned for the summer once the second phase of the move is complete.
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