Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System Preparing for Influx of Returning Veterans

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POSTED: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - 3:48pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - 9:30am

They've earned the care that the government is offering.

Our war heroes, the nearly 41,000 of them here in the Coastal Bend area, now have more medical services and care available to them on a local level.

The year old Veterans’ Health Care facility in Harlingen is now preparing to take on even more servicemen and women over the next year as the war comes to an end.

Officials at the flagship facility in Harlingen say they're already starting to trickle in, the newest generation of veterans.

"We're anticipating an increase in returning Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn returning veterans, so as a result of that we are wrapping up some of our services in the behavior health area and some of our primary care areas so our goal is to make sure we are ready for them," says PIO, Froy Garza, of the Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System.

In order to continue to serve those veterans who are actively seeking care in the Coastal Bend area, all 26-thousand of them, in addition to the approximately four- thousand new returning veterans, he Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System is in the process of hiring more staff and expanding beyond the 20 specialty services and the outpatient care they already provide.

"We are actually fostering some new partnerships with the Department of Defense to make sure we adequately have enough resources to provide care for them," says Garza.

The Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System wants to make sure that those fresh from war, know that services are easily accessible.

"What we really want to do is make sure our younger veterans know that the VA Health Care System is here to provide them the services, if they have services connected for a certain condition, that means that they can come to the VA and get care for free at no cost," says Garza.

The 120-thousand square foot facility in Harlingen provides service for veterans in twenty counties, south of San Antonio from Laredo to Corpus Christi down to the Rio Grande Valley, and a few more locations will soon be available to those seeking service.

In the next few months the VA Health Care System will break ground on two new facilities, one in McAllen and one in Laredo.

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