Plans for Devils Lake VA clinic become realityPlans are finally set to open a long-rumored VA clinic to Devils Lake, at Mercy Hospital. But local veterans say they've been burned by the VA before, and won't believe it's coming until they see it.
By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ
Plans are finally set to open a long-rumored VA clinic to Devils Lake, at Mercy Hospital. But local veterans say they've been burned by the VA before, and won't believe it's coming until they see it.
"It came up in board discussions almost ten years ago. It has been a constant hope of ours. A constant goal," said Hospital Board President Brenda Langerud.
The goal has been reached. Mercy Hospital has agreed to house a Devils Lake VA clinic which will provide telehealth services from the Fargo VA hospital and part-time in-person physician care.
"Our veterans provided a great service to this country. And as a lot of our veterans are aging, they're at a point in their lives where they can't travel as easily, so a clinic in Devils Lake gives our veterans an opportunity to receive those primary care services close to home," said Jim Marshall with Mercy Hospital.
Pete Padilla with Disabled American Veterans says he's been promised a clinic four times, but each time it fell through.
Pete: "You'll excuse us for being skeptical, but we've heard that for 10 years, you know."
After nearly a decade of trying to bring a VA clinic to Devils Lake, the deal almost didn't get done. There was a deadline of September 30th, the end of the fiscal year, to sign the deal. The agreement was made with just three days to spare. Hospital president Jim Marshall guarantees the clinic will soon open.
"This will happen," he said. "Mercy Hospital has been given a contract to build the clinic for the VA."
But vets say they won't get their hopes up until they see the clinic for themselves.
Some renovations have to be done first, but the VA clinic is slated to open for vets early next spring.