TWIN FALLS — The Veterans Administration is backing away from a plan to bring additional services to Twin Falls and will instead devote its resources to sprucing up its existing outpatient clinic.
The VA had considered expanding in Twin Falls and held preliminary talks with county commissioners about leasing county-owned space for veterans’ services. However, there are clinics elsewhere in the state more in need of expansion or replacement, said VA spokesman Josh Callihan. The one in Caldwell, in particular, is “bursting at the seams.”
“Resources are somewhat limited,” Callihan said. “We’re trying to make the most of our resources. We just have a bigger need in Caldwell than we do in Twin.”
The idea of leasing space from the county is on hold for now, Callihan said.
“That has potential to it, if there’s a medical center (or) we’re interested in expanding our scope in the Twin Falls area, but at this time we’re just not,” he said.
Instead, the VA plans to focus on the clinic on Second Avenue East. Improvements will include new flooring, a new Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant reception counter, sidewalk repairs, a drinking fountain in the waiting area, new paint on the inside and some modifications to the walls and the exterior of the building. Work is expected to start soon and finish by the end of the year.
The clinic mainly focuses on primary care, although it offers limited specialty services such as a laboratory and dermatology clinic. Veterans can also access more specialized services at the clinic by using what’s commonly called tele-health, communicating online with a health care provider in another location. The renovation won’t change any of this, Callihan said.
“We won’t be adding any services or taking any services away,” he said.