Plans Unveiled for Expanded Ventura County VA Clinic
The expansion of the Veteran’s Affairs Community Based Outpatient Clinic was the topic of a recent forum hosted by Congresswoman Julia Brownley, D-Westlake Village.
The Jan. 25 discussion led by Ann Brown, the VA Greater Los Angeles health care system director, and Robert McKendrick, the executive director of clinical care, offered information on plans for a VA staffed clinic in the Oxnard area.
The current clinic will be expanded from 30,000 square feet to 41,000 square feet to support the medical services local veterans need.
McKendrick laid out the multi-year schedule to complete site selection, furnish and build out the facility and hire or relocate staff. The VA has determined the best approach is to lease an existing facility rather than build a new clinic. This approach provides flexibility to adjust future services.
McKendrick said the VA is moving away from building new facilities so clinics can remain nimble to right-size services. The clinic will be in the Oxnard area but not necessarily in the city of Oxnard.
The timeline for the new clinic is to complete site selection by spring of 2019, lease by spring of 2021 and open in the fall of 2021.
An assessment of clinic services will be conducted to determine what services need to be expanded. Telemedicine, audiology and physical therapy are some areas that have experienced recent growth. Veterans who attended the meeting said transportation to the clinic is an issue and requested the new facility be located on a public transportation route. It was also noted that female health services need to be expanded.
Several new veteran services were highlighted. The VA has extended private dental insurance from Delta Dental or Met Life to veterans enrolled in VA health care and not already eligible for dental care. Visit www.va.gov/healthbenefits/VADIP/ for more information and rates.
Brown said veteran mental health care was expanded recently. Because suicide prevention is a top priority, other-than-honorable discharged veterans have someplace they can turn if they are facing a mental health emergency whether it means urgent care at a VA emergency department, a veteran’s center or through the Veterans Crisis Line. Veterans can call the Veterans Crisis Line at 800-273-8255 (press 1), or text 838255. Our local veteran’s center can be reached at 805- 585-1860.
The Ormond Beach Villas, a veterans housing project will break ground this month. The project is Ventura County’s first veterans’ housing development in Oxnard. It has received full funding for construction by Thousand Oaks-based nonprofit Many Mansions, as a joint venture with Los Angeles Family Housing. The project, located on Saviers Road in Oxnard, will also get funding from the city of Oxnard, which has committed more than $900,000 and 39 project-based vouchers, and the county of Ventura, which has awarded over $1 million in HOME funds.
I am calling on veterans to volunteer to support the Ventura County Homeless Count on Feb. 22. I challenge all veterans and especially our veteran organizations to take part in your community to identify our homeless so we can connect veterans with the services they need. Here are some of the organizations I would like to see participate in the homeless count: Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Vietnam Veterans of Ventura County, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Military Officers Association of American, Red, White and Blue, IAVA, Angles Anonymous, Navy League, U.S. Marine Corps League, AMVET, Rolling Thunder, Ground Operation, Veteran Farmers of America, Commemorative Air Force, Submarine Veterans Parche Base and our college and university Veterans Resource Centers.
This is your chance to help someone connect with other veterans. Details are below.
Happenings and events
Feb. 10: Vietnam War: What It Means For Us Today, 10 a.m. to noon. (doors open 9:30 a.m.), Rancho Campana High School Performing Arts Center, 4235 Mar Vista Drive, Camarillo. A panel discussion hosted by the city of Camarillo, moderated by KVTA Radio Host Lyn Fairly with panelists: P. Scott Corbett, a lecturer in history, CSU Channel Islands; retired Navy Capt. Charlie Plumb, USN, a six‑year prisoner of war and former fighter pilot; Larry Hawley, a U.S. Army Vietnam veteran; and Janet Richards, U.S. Army Vietnam veteran and former military nurse. Free and open to the public. For information, visit www.cityofcamarillo.org or email Kathy Talley at ktalleyityofcamarillo.org or call her at 805-388-5312.
Feb. 13: Veterans orientation, 1:30-3:30 p.m. (new time), Oxnard Job Center, 2901 N. Ventura Road, 3rd Floor, Oxnard. Information about employment and training programs through the Oxnard America’s Job Center Counseling & Rehabilitation, information on the GI Bill/Loans, VA medical and federal benefits will be available. Call the Employment Development Department at 805-288-8400 to register.
Feb, 22: Ventura County Homeless Count, 6 a.m. to 1 p.m., Camarillo, Fillmore, Moorpark, Ojai, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Santa Paula, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks and Ventura. The county needs volunteers in each of the Ventura County cities. Criteria for volunteers: 18 years or older; ability to walk around the community; and have a cellphone to use for the survey. Volunteers will work in teams and will receive training. Teams go out in the early morning through midday to places where homeless persons are known to gather. Most volunteers are in the field for a couple of hours at a time. Sign up at www.volunteerventuracounty.org. For information, call Jennifer Harkey at 658-4342.
Feb. 28: Vietnam Veterans Ventura County Pizza Night Family Fundraiser, 3:30‑9 p.m., Toppers Pizza Place, 2701 Peninsula Road, Oxnard. Toppers Pizza will donate 20 percent of pre‑tax sales generated by people who say they want to support VVVC. No coupons or other discounts can be honored during the fundraiser and online orders are not included.
If you would like to learn about veteran services and programs or are in need of assistance please contact JC Oberst at 482-6550 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: VC Star article from February 4, 2018