VA Health Clinic Stops in Decatur

By: Rachel Alig Email
By: Rachel Alig Email

Representatives from the G.V. Sonny Montgomery Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi brought a Health Clinic to Decatur as a part of their outreach program. All day Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., those working served the needs of America's vets.

The United States Department of Veteran's Affairs continues to serve the needs of our country's vets. Staff members with the G.V. Sonny Montgomery Medical Center have taken this a step further. They have developed their outreach program to reach rural vets in the Mississippi area.

"We want to service or bring our services to our Veterans out in the rural Mississippi area so that they can enroll, they can get vested, and when we say vested, they can get physical exams, they are able to learn about all of the programs we have in our facility. They're able to get information about benefits and they're able to get information about counseling from the vet center," says Katie Babineaux-Alexis, the Deputy Associate Director of Special Programs at the VA medical center in Jackson.

In order to reach all vets, employees with the medical center have targeted several areas in the Mississippi Delta and else where. Some vets have a difficult time coming into the center because of distance. Employees are trying to close that gap.

"So we've decided to come to where they are to give them the services that they need and provide them with the care and the educational needs that they would need brought to them," explains Babineaux-Alexis.

Leola Kirsh is the Associate Director of Patient Care at the Medical Center and a nurse practitioner. She has been working at the medical center in Jackson for a little over four years. During that time, Kirsh has seen numerous vets with various problems.

"What I see is a lot of medical problems. But not only medical problems. They have social problems. They have everything from high blood pressures, to diabetes, amputation, kidney problem, prostate problem, all types of problems," describes Kirsh.

She says the list of problems goes on and on. And because of this, the medical center staff will do whatever necessary to help those issues.

"We just about have everything a veteran needs to take care of them and if we can't, then we do their services by sending them somewhere else and we take care of them there."

The Jackson VA has a primary service area comprising of 50 counties in Mississippi and six parishes in Louisiana.

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