By Jen Kastner
ODESSA- The closest VA hospital in the Basin is located in Big Spring. The closest VA clinic to that is in Odessa. The VA hospital is looking to expand their reach and offer more of their services to veterans in the Midland-Odessa area. Subsequently, the VA hospital has approached a few hospitals to see which one wants to partner up and help aid in the expansion.
Medical Center Hospital is crossing their fingers in the hopes that the VA will choose them. A hospital spokesperson says they're ready to take on this challenge.
Veteran Raul Palma has a few health problems but he's doing his best to stay on top of them.
"I've got diabetes and high blood pressure and I've got some problems with my eyes," he tells us.
Currently, he goes to the VA clinic in Odessa. Sometimes he even has to travel to Big Spring for care. Soon, there's the possibility care will be more accessible to him.
Carol Durham with the Medical Center Hospital says, "We want to be able to provide a medical home where individuals can come and see their physician and get any outpatient services, therapy or treatment that they need. It's also an opportunity for ongoing wellness through Mission Fitness."
MCH wants to build a fully-loaded, state-of-the-art two story VA health clinic. "[We'd have an] imaging lab, physical and occupational therapy, cardiac and pulmonary rehab and diabetes classes that are located there."
The clinic would be attached to the Center for Health and Wellness out by Highway 191 and Faudree Road. It's a central spot between Midland and Odessa.
"We're excited to have a chance to offer a patient-centered location for veterans and be able to offer complimentary services such as x-rays or labs or whatever they may need," Durham said.
The clinic would span somewhere between 10,000 to 15,000 square feet and would cost nearly $8 million. Inside, you'd find doctors specializing in primary care, internal medicine and geriatrics.
If it gets the green light, building will begin in a few months and doors would be opened sometime in the spring of 2013.
MCH says they should find out by the end of January whether or not they'll get to break ground on new clinic.