By PHYLLIS HODGES
Joe Battle, director of the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital and clinics, is excited about a new outpatient clinic being built in Riverview. Eager to inform south county residents about the services to be offered, he will be the featured speaker at a “Town Hall” at the Sun City Center Community Association Community Hall, 1910 S. Pebble Beach Blvd. on March 30 at 1 p.m. All veterans and their spouses, as well as anyone else interested, are encouraged to attend. Doors open at noon.
“We at James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital and clinics are excited to get this critically necessary clinic in south Hillsborough County and when finished, we’re going to have a beautiful, state-of-the-art facility to serve our veterans in this community. I am very much looking forward to speaking with area veterans about the new facility during our upcoming Town Hall,” said Battle.
The new clinic is welcome news to area veterans who now travel to the VA Tampa and Bradenton clinics. Battle expects the new complex to serve 10,000 patients in the Apollo Beach, Riverview, Ruskin and Sun City Center communities. The clinic is located just north of U.S. 301 and Big Bend Road on Summerfield Crossings Boulevard.
Groundbreaking was last May with construction on schedule for opening next year. The $44-million project includes a 50,000-square-foot building similar in design and function to the Primary Care Annex near the Fletcher Avenue and I-75 exit in Tampa.
Care at the clinic is not limited to a geographic area, however. Any veteran can use the clinic if it’s more convenient for them. To receive care at the new clinic, they will need to get assigned to one of the two Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACT) to be located there. After the new clinic is operational, new patients wanting to enroll should go to https://www.va.gov/healthbenefits/ and request South Hillsborough as the preferred clinic.
“This is a very engaged community, and we’d like to give a big thanks to everyone who participated in arranging this event,” said Karen Collins, communications and media chief for Haley. She extended the VA’s appreciation to the Sun City Center Community Association for providing the venue, to Chapter 110 of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) for sponsoring it and to Bill Hodges for helping coordinate their efforts.
The sponsoring DAV Chapter 110 is a SCC Community Association club, but membership is not limited to CA members. It is primarily open to any honorably discharged veteran with a military-connected disability. More information is available from any DAV chapter.