SANFORD, N.C. (WNCN) – A new facility for veterans seeking healthcare is open in Lee County.
The VA Outpatient Clinic in Sanford started seeing patients in early May, but Wednesday Veteran Affairs officials and members of the community made it official.
They hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the 10,000-square-foot facility in Sanford.
Primary, mental, telehealth care and some specialty lab services will be offered for up to 7,000 patients.
The closest location for many veterans was in Fayetteville. That location serves more than 66,000 veterans from 19 North Carolina counties, but VA officials said it was evident there was an area that was underserved.
James Bowling, a Navy veteran, said, “it took me about 45 minutes to an hour to the one in Fayetteville. This has cut the time down to about 20 minutes, that’s a big saving there.”
Veterans who were enrolled at the Fayetteville location will have priority to get their care in Sanford.
“We think that makes sense to have healthcare close to home and to have it community-based situation, which is what we’ve got here in Sanford,” said Elizabeth Goolsby, the Medical Center Director in Fayetteville.