New Davenport VA clinic could cut down wait times, trips to Iowa City

DAVENPORT, Iowa-- Quad Cities veterans could soon get their health care more quickly. A new VA outpatient clinic is set to open in Davenport this coming spring.

The new clinic is going in the former Jewel-Osco location off of Locust Street across from the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds. It will entirely replace the nearly 30-year-old clinic in Bettendorf. All services and care will move to the new facility.

"It's gonna be really nice," army veteran Edward Peve says. "We deserve it. Not just me, but all the veterans deserve it."

The new clinic will be twice the size of the current location. The Bettendorf location is too small for the number of patients and practitioners coming through the building.

The Bettendorf VA has nearly 9,000 veterans receiving care with about 200 patients coming through every day, according to the clinic manager Cindy McGee.

With more space, more services will be offered, including audiology, optometry, podiatry, and chiropractor and acupuncture care. That could mean fewer trips to the Iowa City VA clinic for specialized care.

"That 45 minutes to an hour is a great burden, depending on what procedures or treatments or office visits (veterans) have to encounter," McGee says.

The new clinic will have a new look and updated layout.

In the current clinic, patients have to walk throughout the building to visit different doctors and nurses during their appointment. They visit one room where a nurse takes their vitals. They'd go to another room to have blood work drawn. Then they'd go to another room for the actual exam. That involves a lot of walking, and it's possible to get lost, McGee says.

"With the new clinic, the veteran won't have to travel. We'll come to them," McGee says.

Veterans will stay in one room during their appointment in the new facility. It's more efficient and could cut down on wait times in the lobby. There will be three times as many exam rooms in the new facility.

"I think I can get (my health) taken care of a lot more, a lot better," Peve says.

There will also be dedicated women's health exam rooms and "increased accommodation" for mental health care and physical therapy.

The VA hoped to have the clinic open by February, but there have been some delays with the project. It's expected to open sometime in spring 2019.

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