VA clinic in former Fort Sanders Hospital in Sevierville set to open in September. (Source: Kyle Grainger, WVLT)
SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The VA has opened a new VA clinic for Sevier County that will serve 2300 patients. It took 5 years of planning to get the clinic open to the public.
The new VA clinic is located in the old Fort Sanders Hospital on Blanton Drive in Sevierville. The clinic has 7,000 square feet of space that will provide primary medical care, mental health counseling, and laboratory specimen collection.
The VA says the clinic will help veterans get medical care closer to home. Raymond Maples has already transferred his appointments to Sevierville because it will save him hours of driving.
"I used to have to go to Johnson City or Knoxville and that's an hour drive. From where I live here it's a 10 minute drive," said Maples. "I originally had 3 appointments for next month that's I've changed to here. So that's less driving."
The VA staff completed a market analysis and Sevier County has a population of about 7,800 veterans. Colleen Scott was concerned about help for women veterans, she found out they can help women with some services.
"I ask and this place will handle us for primary care and such, But like anywhere else specialties will be up at mountain home," said Scott.
Patients have filled all 2300 spots available at the clinic, and now talks are in the works to expand to allow for more services and patients to be seen in Sevier County.