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An area veteran enters the new VA Community-Based Outpatient Clinic in Morehead City on Thursday. (Cheryl Burke photo)

 

MOREHEAD CITY — The VA Community-Based Outpatient Clinic, formerly located in Newport, has moved to a newly renovated and larger facility at 2900 Arendell St.

While the doors of the new clinic opened in late February, the ribbon cutting was held Tuesday for the facility, located in the old Goody’s Family Store next to Big Lots.

Chanell Barksdale, supervisory medical support assistant for the clinic, said Thursday the VA had outgrown the Newport location and decided it was time to open a larger facility. When the Newport clinic opened in 2003, it was serving about 1,000 area veterans. Now, the clinic serves more than 5,000.

“We outgrew the building,” she said. “We have a lot of veterans retiring here. We have veterans coming back from deployments and veterans relocating here.”

The large facility provides multiple medical and mental health services to veterans, as well as telehealth. There is a nutritionist, physical therapist, pharmacy consultants, social workers, multiple nurses and LPNs, and lab technicians. There are five primary care physicians on staff.

For mental health, there is a psychiatrist, psychologist and mental health social workers.

Psychiatrist Dr. Michelle Gardner said she sees about 60 patients a week at the clinic.

“The primary diagnoses are PTSD, mood disorders and anxiety disorders,” she said. “I love working with veterans. We all work together here to wrap our arms around the veterans.”

Ms. Barksdale said the clinic also hopes to soon expand women health services.

VA uses a team approach when providing care to veterans, according to Ms. Barksdale.

“We use PACT (Patient Aligned Care Teams) teams,” she said.

Each team has a primary care provider, a RN case manager, LPN, medical support assistant and medical support assistant supervisor. Pharmacy assistants, referred to as PharmDs, also assist with medicine management.

Clinical pharmacy practitioner Kathryn Masincupp is one of three PharmDs at the clinic.

“The VA does interdisciplinary team care well,” she said. “I work hand-in-hand with the doctor and specialists to coordinate care for the patients.”

Nutritionist Tracy Rogers said she works with patients to help with healthy eating.

“I work with patients to improve eating habits for such things as diabetes and weight management,” she said. “I also teach cooking classes for veterans.”

Whatever the need, Ms. Barksdale said each employee at the clinic has the same mission: to ensure that veterans get the best care possible.

“It’s a team effort because we all really love veterans,” she said.

Those wanting more information about services provided for veterans at the clinic can call 252-240-2349 or go to https://www.va.gov/durham-health-care/locations/morehead-city-va-clinic/.

Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email Cheryl@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.

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