Celebrating Loveland’s Local Veterans
Veteran’s Day is just around the corner (Monday, November 11, to be exact) and we could not think of a better time to learn more about Centerra’s community resources for veterans, be reminded what Veteran’s Day is really about and participate in opportunities to honor local veterans this year.
Did you know Loveland’s Veterans Affairs (VA) Clinic opened its doors in 2017 and has been serving Northern Colorado’s veterans ever since? Read on to learn about the resources this clinic provides and how you can get involved, too!
The Veterans Affairs program launched during the 1930’s and guided its programs on a mission statement by Abraham Lincoln, “to care for him who shall have born the battle and for his widow and orphan.” Thus began the work of the VA to serve veterans after World War One. The program works in three different agencies: healthcare, disability benefits and cemeteries. In the 80’s VA clinics launched just after the Vietnam War to help support the healthcare component of the VA. These clinics work to provide veterans with primary health-care services but originally launched to help Vietnam veterans reintegrate into civilian life. Today, local VA clinics typically focus solely on primary care and act as a resource for basic healthcare for local veterans.
In 2017 the Greeley Veterans Clinic was looking to relocate to a place that offered greater opportunity to serve a larger audience of local veterans and Centerra was the perfect fit. “We were very fortunate to build that relationship with Centerra. It turned out to be a great partnership, one that we are really excited about,” Samuel House, VA Cheyenne Spokesperson, said. The VA estimates that approximately 22,000 veterans live in Larimer County, making Loveland an ideal location to serve the Northern Colorado veteran population. The Loveland VA Clinic felt especially lucky because they were able to work closely with the McWHINNEY development team to ensure this clinic would meet all of the local veteran needs. This particular VA clinic provides services far beyond basic primary care; they also provide mental health services, ophthalmology, audiology, lab services, X-ray and MRI capabilities, surgeries, pharmaceutical services and sterilization. The Loveland VA Clinic acts as a one-stop-shop for almost every type of care that veterans often need, and more. One of the many unique characteristics of the Loveland clinic is the idea that a veteran can go to one location and get a large amount of healthcare taken care of, which makes good health attainable and convenient for many local veterans.
The center maintains between 50-75 providers and staff members, a large majority who work from home to help develop one of the center’s newest capabilities. The clinic is testing out a telemedicine program that allows providers to work remotely and connect with patients via FaceTime or video messaging tools. This service allows veterans the opportunity to talk to a provider, from home, and get the care that they need. This resource has been immensely helpful for the Loveland Clinic because it allows providers to reach veterans who live in rural communities and can’t necessarily access the Loveland location when they need to. That’s not the only new development for Loveland VA clinics, the location will soon be relocating and expanding into what many are calling a “super VA clinic”.
The “super VA clinic” is anticipated to be finished in the winter of 2022 and will aim to serve almost 200 veterans every day. This new facility is planned to double the space of the Loveland and Fort Collins clinics combined at 75,645 square feet. Although the Loveland clinic is slated to remain open, the Fort Collins clinic has plans to close in 2021. The VA believes this new center will alleviate wait times at their Cheyenne clinic and provide primary care to more veterans than ever before. The new clinic will add services including radiology and dental care which are not currently available at any of the Northern Colorado locations.
Veteran’s Day is all about having a celebration to thank veterans and appreciate their service to our country, with the holiday just around the corner we figured what better time to highlight local events that celebrate Loveland veterans. Each year, the Associated Veterans of Loveland puts on a Veteran’s Day Parade celebration honoring local community members that have served, passed or are currently serving our country. This year, the parade is taking place in Downtown Loveland at 10 a.m. at 3rd and Railroad. The parade will begin at 4th and Railroad and go west, turn right on Garfield St. and go north, turn Left on 13th St. and go west before it finally ends at Dwayne Webster Veterans Park. The Associated Veterans will also be hosting a bell ringing throughout the City of Loveland from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. following by breakfast at the Veterans Club from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. For more information on these events, please contact the Associated Veterans of Loveland at 970-667-4722.