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

VA Selects Site for Expanded Outpatient Clinic in Hickory, N.C.
December 29, 2008

DURHAM – Enhancing access to health care by locating outpatient clinics in close proximity to where the majority of veterans reside is a key goal for the Department of Veterans Affairs.  In keeping with that priority, the VA Mid-Atlantic Health Care Network (VISN 6) and the Salisbury VA Medical Center (VAMC) are pleased to confirm the selection of a site at Century Place, South East, to expand outpatient services to veterans in the Hickory area.  The lease award was made by VA’s office of Construction and Facilities Management, Washington, D.C. 

Under a lease arrangement with Shuford Development, Inc., VA will develop a Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) at the new site.  The facility will consist of   approximately 23,000 net usable square feet for clinical and administrative functions, allowing VA to provide state of the art primary care, general mental health and eye care services to an estimated 11,000 veterans. VA plans to have the expanded clinic in operation by late 2010.  Salisbury VAMC will manage this clinic and staff it with approximately 80 full-time equivalent positions, including 10 primary care clinical providers. 

VA has been providing outpatient services to Hickory area veterans since June 4 when it opened a clinic at 1170 Fairgrove Church Road.  The current CBOC occupies approximately 10,000 net usable square feet.  This clinic has a capacity for serving 5,500 patients with a VA staff of approximately 37 full-time equivalent positions.  The current staffing includes five full-time primary care providers.  This clinic will be closed and the staff and services transferred to the new site when it opens. 

The service area for both the current and future clinic includes Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Iredell, Lincoln and Wilkes counties.  In addition to serving patients enrolled at Salisbury from those areas, the clinic at Hickory also is a primary care site for some veterans enrolled at the Charles George VAMC in Asheville.  These veterans have residence locations and health conditions appropriate for enhanced access to care at the Hickory CBOC. 

Referrals for specialty care to Asheville or Salisbury or to other VA sites will continue as appropriate for veterans seen initially at the Hickory CBOC.

VISN 6 Director Daniel F. Hoffmann noted, “We are on track to expand outpatient services in Hickory.  We have received many positive comments on our current CBOC there and are pledged to continue providing veterans with quality care and excellent customer service as we develop additional resources in this area of western North Carolina.”  Hoffmann thanked Representative Patrick McHenry and other members of Congress, along with Veterans Service Organizations, and our veterans for their support during the establishment of outpatient services in the Hickory area.  “I know that Ms. Carolyn Adams, our Director at the Salisbury VAMC, and her great team led by Dr. Jeff Kuch look forward to continuing to provide care in a safe, efficient, effective and compassionate manner for our veterans in the Hickory area,” Hoffmann concluded. 

Salisbury VAMC is one of eight major facilities within VISN 6, headquartered in Durham.    During the last fiscal year, this network provided care to over 318,000 veterans across North Carolina, Virginia, and parts of West Virginia.  Since the attacks on 9/11/2001, almost 30,000 of our newest veterans—those returning from duty in the Global War on Terror—have been cared for in VISN 6 facilities.  Salisbury VAMC also has responsibility for outpatient clinics in Charlotte and Winston-Salem where it will establish greatly expanded Health Care Centers by 2013.     

VISN 6 currently staffs and manages 16 outpatient clinics across its three-state service area.  Over the next two years it will add one new clinic in West Virginia, three new clinics in Virginia, and four additional outpatient sites of care in North Carolina.  Thus by the end of 2010, veterans will have access to outpatient care in 24 communities in the mid-Atlantic service area.