Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Veterans Clinic in Brunswick May Open as Soon as August; Sen. Saxby Chambliss Told the Community He Hopes That Will Happen, but Can't Promise It

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Veterans Clinic in Brunswick May Open as Soon as August; Sen. Saxby Chambliss Told the Community He Hopes That Will Happen, but Can't Promise It

Article excerpt

Byline: CAROLE HAWKINS

BRUNSWICK - A new veterans outpatient clinic in Brunswick could open as early as August, and a U.S. senator hopes one day area veterans will be able to use local doctors for virtually all of their health care needs.

Speaking to community leaders Monday at the Brunswick-Glynn County Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., talked about the clinic and took questions on a few national issues.

He passed credit around for finally landing a VA clinic for Brunswick.

"It was a team effort," Chambliss said, thanking Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., and area leaders for their help.

"After a lot of pushing and shoving, the lease is signed and we know it's going to happen," he said.

Veterans Affairs leased on May 27 one full floor of the Summit Professional Plaza for the clinic. The building, north of Brunswick on land framed by the Golden Isles Parkway and Interstate 95, is owned by a real estate investment trust, but Southeast Georgia Health System holds the lease for the floor and Veterans Affairs is subleasing it from them.

Health system CEO Gary Colberg said the space was in use up until a year ago and is "turn-key" ready.

"This has been set up as a physician's office. We expect Veterans Affairs to be seeing patients in it by August," he said.

Citing the speed of federal projects, Chambliss said that timeline was his hope, but it was not a promise.

Colberg said he hopes Veterans Affairs will also award additional contracts to allow local physicians to deliver specialty medical treatments. Chambliss said if that happened, one day area veterans might not ever have to leave Glynn County for medical care.

Veterans in Glynn County west toward Waycross are in the service area of Carl Vinson VA Medical Center in Dublin, a drive of nearly three hours from downtown Brunswick. …

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