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Alex to open outpatient clinic in 2009 for veterans

U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson announced that the Department of Veterans Affairs will open a new community-based outpatient clinic in Alexandria sometime in 2009.

"Over the years, we've welcomed these important outpatient clinics in Fergus Falls, Montevideo and Bemidji, and they've been a great success," Peterson said. "I'm pleased that the VA recognizes the importance of providing access to the growing number of veterans in our rural areas."

According to the VA, the newest round of clinics that will open across the country over the next 15 months, will increase VA's network of independent and community-based clinics to 782, an increase of more than 100 in five years.

This growth in community clinics has helped VA improve veterans' care, with 98 percent of veterans seen within 30 days in all types of VA primary care facilities throughout the country.

The outpatient clinics frequently feature state-of-the-art telehealth systems permitting veterans to maintain regular contact with doctors in specialties from cardiac care to mental health at regional VA hospitals linked for video consultations, coupled with telemetry of health data.

"I'm grateful to the decision-makers at the VA for helping to make it easier for our rural veterans to receive health care services," Peterson said.