VA clinics to open in Katy, Tomball

September 19, 2012 4:28:22 PM PDT
Veterans will soon have more convenient locations to seek out-patient treatment. Construction is underway on two new VA clinics in Katy and Tomball. Each location will eventually serve about 8,000 veterans.

The VA hospital will lease the Old Klein's Supermarket for a million dollars a year, complete with special services for women veterans. This is welcome news for veterans living in the area and for the city of Tomball.

For US Army Air Corps Pfc. Eugene Rogers, a new veterans clinic in Tomball is a God-send.

"Oh, can't happen soon enough," Rogers said.

The World War II veteran is 84 years old and regularly drives to the VA Medical Hospital for checkups.

"When you go in the city, you're in a holding room. And sometimes there's 75 to 100, maybe 150 people in each holding room and they've gotta work their way through them all through the day," Rogers said.

"We're very, very busy," hospital director Adam Walmus said.

Walmus says last year they saw more than one million patients. And with ongoing world conflict, that demand will grow.

"I have 3,900 parking spaces here and they're always full. We valet park about 1,300 cars a day," Walmus said.

Two new clinics will ease that load. The Tomball VA clinic, housed in the Old Klein's Supermarket, will serve 5,000 patients to start, with four primary care teams.

"They will be able to get radiology, optometry, physical rehab medicine and mental health," Walmus said.

This clinic alone will add 50 to 75 new jobs and new growth for the city of Tomball.

"The hotels are going to be full, and they're actually looking at building additional hotels here because of it," Tomball Mayor Gretchen Fagan said.

The mayor's delight is shared by Vietnam War veteran Cpl. Danny McCoy, who'll soon be able to receive full medical care without the hassle of going into Houston to get it.

"That was a heck of a trip back and forth," McCoy said. "You know, some of the veterans can't afford that. Just can't do it."

The Tomball location is slated to open in July. The new clinic in Katy should open in May.

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