The project has health and economic benefits that will help the Springfield region, said Glenn A. Costie, CEO and Medical Center Director for Dayton VA Medical Center, which oversees the Springfield clinic.
“We currently have four outpatient clinic teams that work in their current space,” he said. “We’ve actually just added a fifth one now.”
It will either renovate the current clinic location or select a new, bigger site.
The outpatient center services about 3,400 local veterans and has 37 employees. It currently offers mental health, optometry, podiatry and primary care. It would like to add more services like audiology. The current site cannot handle the additional services, Costie said.
“What we are looking for is 12,500 net usable square feet,” said Cynthia Tortolano, the contracting specialist with the Dayton VA Medical Center.
The center would prefer a one-floor space but would could two floors is a medical elevator was available, Tortolano said.
The building must be in a specific area, she said. That specified area starts at St. Paris Pike and spans East Home Road/Croft Road to Columbus Avenue, and Burnett Road across Interstate 70 and then up U.S. 68.
“We need something close to a bus line, close to amenities for the vets to come if they want to go to lunch or something,” Tortolano said.
U.S. Navy Veteran Robert Schultz has been coming to the Springfield location since 2013. He said it’s a convenient one-stop shop that’s less than two miles from his home. He’s had peripheral vascular disease.
“I get a lot of plaque buildup in my legs and I causes blockages,” Schultz said.
It started in January 2014 and he said he’s had 13 surgeries because of the diagnosis. His 14th surgery required him to have his left leg amputated two years later.
“At first, I’m a guy that was going 150 miles an hour and I went from that to zero all at once,” Schultz said.
He said he became depressed, met with doctors in the psychiatric department and took medication for a while. The Springfield location has always been helpful and problem free, he said.
“Everybody in the VA has walked me through to where I am today and with the new prosthetic … I don’t know what the difference is but the pain is so much less,” Schultz said. “And I know when this over with. I’m going to be walking out this door and walking in it without any assistance whatsoever.”
The Dayton VA Medical Center services more than 40,000 veterans in 17 counties, including one in Indiana.
Head of Dayton VA Medical Center in Ohio retiring in October
“More and more veterans are hearing about our services and realizing that with their military service they’ve earned a benefit and they are taking advantage of that,” Costie said.
The Springfield clinic would like to be in its renovated or new facility in 2018.
There will be four weeks of solicitation for proposals for the clinic that will begin in September. The system would like to select a plan for the site in December.
Any one interested should call Tortolano at 937-268-6511 ext. 3093.
BY THE NUMBERS
37: Number of employees at the Springfield location
3,400: Veterans who use the Springfield location
40,000: Veterans in 17 counties in Southwest Ohio and Indiana
The Springfield News-Sun covers important stories about the military and veterans in Clark and Champaign counties, including recent stories on new leaders at the Springfield Air National Guard Base and efforts to build veterans memorials in Clark County.