U.S. Army veteran and VA employee Lisa Lehning led a group of about a dozen veterans on a tour Thursday of a new 84,000-square-foot, state-of the-art outpatient VA medical clinic on Calkins Road in Henrietta.
As they walked down a wide corridor in the radiology department, Army veteran Lon Schwenzer stopped to look inside a suite that will provide on-site CT scans.
"Amazing," he said. "Just amazing. It's something that's been needed quite a while by the veterans, and I'm very happy to see that they've got it."
The clinic has been in the planning stages for years. More than once in a grand opening ceremony, the late Congresswoman Louise Slaughter was remembered for her dedication to secure funding for the project.
The clinic has twice the space as the current VA outpatient clinic on Westfall Road, which is 23 years old.
The new facility has a dental clinic and dental prosthetics lab and a pharmacy with a new dispensing automation system, and there are plans for an endoscopy suite for colonoscopy services.
"This is what we would expect in terms of patient experience to have a veteran come in and see. It's more comparable to what you'd see in the community," said Bruce Tucker, director of the VA Finger Lakes Healthcare System.
The new clinic opens to patients on Monday, Oct. 7. It will serve more than 13,000 veterans who live in the greater Rochester area.
The clinic, located at 260 Calkins Road in Henrietta, is on an RTS busline. Veterans who need a ride to a medical appointment but don't use public transportation can call the Disabled American Veterans at 463-2661 five days in advance of their appointment to schedule a pickup.
The Westfall Road clinic will stay open for up to a year for mental health counseling and physical rehabilitation services.