VA moves forward with reintroduction of services

IRON MOUNTAIN –Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center is working on a plan to reintroduce health care services as VA starts reopening after COVID-19 shutdowns.

The facility began Tuesday expanding some services.

“The safety of veterans and staff is the highest priority when we consider how we provide health care services and procedures during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said James Rice, the Iron Mountain VA Medical Center director.

“VA will consider guidance from various agencies including federal, state and local government as we gradually reintroduce health care services. As a high reliability organization, safety is always paramount and will continue to guide our decision making.”

On Tuesday, the Iron Mountain VA began to marginally increase specialty care at the main facility first. These specialty care clinics include: Primary Care, Urology, Endoscopy, Pain Management, Neurology, Oncology, Mental Health, Home-based Primary Care, Pharmacy (counseling room for walk in pickups), Outpatient Lab Services, and Radiology. All other clinics will resume services at the main facility in Iron Mountain on June 22.

The VA Community-based Outpatient Clinics are scheduled to expand services on the following dates: June 15, in Rhinelander, Wis., and Sault Ste. Marie; June 29, in Ironwood and Manistique; June 30 in Hancock and Marquette; and July 1 in Menominee.

The VA will continue to maximize personalized virtual care options like telehealth, phone consults and wellness checks.

Scheduling appointments for face-to-face services will be made in a structured manner considering the risk and urgency of the individual veteran, Rice said. Staff safety and resource considerations will also guide expansions and scheduling decisions.

Although face-to-face visits are increasing, walk-in clinics are not open at this time. Only patients with a confirmed, scheduled appointment should present to the facility, unless they are experiencing an urgent medical issue.

Veterans are also encouraged to present to the facility no earlier than 30 minutes before their scheduled appointment to assist in maintaining physical distancing. Urgent medical and mental health care remains open and available.

If you’re a veteran patient who wishes to be seen, please call 906-774-3300 extension 33115 to make an appointment beforehand.

Rigorous safety measures including employee and veteran COVID-19 screening, physical distancing and appropriate personal protective attire such as face coverings and frequent disinfection of high-touch surfaces will remain in place at all VHA facilities.

For more, go to vaww.ironmountian.va.gov/ or www.facebook.com/vaironmountain.


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