United States Department of Veterans Affairs
VA Mid-Atlantic Health Care Network

Message from Salisbury VAMC Director: Improving Access to Care
December 11, 2008

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, The Honorable James B. Peake, MD, has made a decision regarding the proposed changes for the Salisbury VA Medical Center. This decision was made after careful deliberation and review of information from veterans and their family members, employees, veterans’ organizations, congressional members, local government officials and concerned citizens.

There will be no changes in the services offered by the Salisbury VA until 2013. The inpatient medical/surgical unit and the emergency department will remain open while Health Care Centers are constructed in Charlotte and Winston-Salem and relationships with community health care partners are developed. Salisbury will also continue to provide outpatient primary care and mental health services, medical and surgical outpatient specialty care and all other related medical services currently available. In addition, programs will be established in Mental Health and Long Term Care. The large number of inpatient beds in these areas will remain open as programs and services are added. 

The Health Care Centers in Charlotte and Winston-Salem will essentially provide all clinical services with the exception of inpatient care and emergency department services. Plans for doubling the size of the Hickory clinic remain ongoing, with an estimated completion date of 2010.

The establishment of after-hours primary care clinics at Salisbury, Charlotte, Winston-Salem and Hickory will be implemented as soon as possible. This will involve extended hours Monday through Friday as well as weekend hours. A 24/7 telephone triage call center will be established and a case management program will be implemented for veterans referred through the Salisbury Fee Program.

This plan will improve health care access for our veterans and decrease their travel burden while providing comprehensive health care close to where veterans reside.

Carolyn L. Adams