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New VA New Port Richey Clinic will soon serve 49,000 Pasco County veterans with outpatient care

New VA New Port Richey Clinic will soon serve 49,000 Pasco County veterans  WFTS.png
Posted at 6:28 AM, Aug 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-03 17:28:36-04

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — The New Port Richey VA Clinic opened back in 1985 and, in 2000, relocated to a larger facility. But the veteran population continued to grow in Pasco County, with over 49,000 living in this area now.

So the VA built an even larger clinic, and ABC Action News anchor Wendy Ryan recently took a tour of this new state-of-the-art facility on Little Road. It's almost four times the size of the old building, growing from 40,000 square feet to 140,000.

''We have two suites for general radiology. That means bones, abdomen, chest x-rays, that sort of thing. And we also have a special diagnostic mammography area. Dexa Scan is used to check for calcium and bones,'' explained Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael Finn.

He continued, “In the Dental Clinic, there are eight offices for dental hygienists and for regular dentists, and also we have two specially equipped suites for dental surgery, oral surgery.”

The facility can serve up to 24,000 patients, thanks to its expanded Patient Aligned Care Teams, PACT, where the veteran can see different specialists during just one visit and never leave the exam room.

“We have in each one of these individual areas, dedicated psychiatry, nutritionist, social worker, pharmacist, who can then come into the room while the patient is currently at his appointment and resolve issues that relate to each one of those specialties. So that there's not a lot of delay and a lot of confusion with going to different departments,” explained Finn.

He added, "In our Audiology and Speech Therapy, we have four dedicated suites for hearing testing.”

There's also an in-house pharmacy and an eye clinic.

The physical therapy division also has an outside area devoted to helping veterans with prosthetics or walkers practice navigating different surfaces like grass, stone walkways, and stairs.

“The services that we have for combat veterans and veterans with amputations has been a problem at our clinic because we don't have resources for that. But here we do,” Finn said.

On the second floor is the mental health clinic that's expanded with 31 mental health specialists who can see patients the same day they check-in. A Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Machine that stimulates the brain to treat depression is also on site.

“We also have substance abuse services, family, marriage counseling services and all that,’’ Finn said.

The New Port Richey location will begin seeing patients in the winter of this year and will be open six days a week, Monday through Saturday.

Veterans should also remember this is an outpatient clinic only, not a hospital. So if you have an emergency, be sure to go to an emergency room.