Gary Bruton said the Trinka Davis Foundation transferred the property deed to the Department of Veterans Affairs on Aug. 16 and the VA will start moving into the building next week.
“We’ll start moving in furniture and installing various types of equipment, including X-ray machines, dental chairs and medical, information technology and telecommunications equipment,” he said. “It takes several weeks to get everything installed and running before the clinic can open.”
He said opening of the community living center will occur at a later date “in the near future.”
The date for a planned ribbon cutting and formal dedication ceremony has not been set, Bruton said, but will likely occur in late September, not long after the outpatient center opens.
The center was built from funds from the foundation established by the late Katherine “Trinka” Davis, a Carroll County business leader who wanted to provide assistance to veterans.
Outpatient services offered in the 25,000-square-foot clinic will include primary care, home based primary care, mental health, physical and occupational therapy, vision, dental, podiatry (foot medicine), audiology and other specialties from visiting medical specialists and tele-medicine through the latest technology in video teleconferencing, Bruton said.
“For example, if a patient needs dermatology service, we can put him in the teleconferencing room,” he said. “The resolution is so good that we can zoom right in on a skin lesion and the dermatologist on the other end can read it and determine if the patient needs to go to Atlanta for a biopsy.”
Bruton said many of the employees are already hired and others are “in the pipeline” for initial staffing of the clinic.
Bruton said earlier this year that the Atlanta VA had identified patients enrolled in the Atlanta system who currently live within driving distance of the Carrollton clinic.
“Patients in the local commuting area should be receiving letters in the mail from the VA,” he said.
The 42-bed community living center will provide veterans needing inpatient rehabilitation with private rooms in a home-like atmosphere, including kitchen, laundry areas, fitness room, celebration room and courtyard areas.
Bruton said earlier this year that about 3,000 veterans are anticipated to use the primary care services at the Carrollton clinic.
Any veterans with questions about their benefits or services available, can call 1-800-224-4087, Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. to request an appointment.
Veterans who are not already enrolled in the VA can apply online at www.va.gov/healtheligibility. On the website, they should scroll down to “Apply or enroll for VA medical benefits” and click on “1010EZ form” and follow instructions for completing the form.
American Legion Post 143 is sponsoring a seminar for veterans who are not yet registered with the VA on how to fill out the government forms. It will be held at 10 a.m., Aug. 25, at Mt. Holly Church, U.S. Highway 27, north of Carrollton. People who want to attend should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
“This seminar is not to get you into the Carrollton clinic,” said American Legion post Commander Don Levans. “This is for people who are not in the VA system yet. If you’re already registered with the VA, they will be contacting you by mail about the Carrollton clinic.”