|Raton’s New VA Clinic to Break Ground Today|
|Story & Photograph
By Christina Boyce ~ KRTN Multi-Media
A groundbreaking ceremony at 3:00 pm Tuesday, July 16th at 1493 Whittier Street will mark the beginning of construction on Raton’s long awaited new Veterans Affairs (VA) Clinic.
Recent rains have created a mud-bog of the unpaved Whittier Street so you’ll want to drive your four-wheel vehicle to attend, and wear sensible shoes.
People gathering to officially mark the start to the project will include representatives from Senator Tom Udall’s office and Senator Martin Heinrich’s office, City of Raton officials and members of Raton’s VA Clinic, VFW, DAV, and the Albuquerque VA Department. The public is welcome to attend.
The new clinic is scheduled to open by January 2014; along with street improvements, it will bring much-needed upgrades in facility and in quality of services to area veterans and their families.
A press release from U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich’s office stated that, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representative Ben Ray Luján secured commitments from Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Under Secretary for Health, Dr. Robert Petzel, to improve quality of care and address chronic infrastructure problems at clinics in northern New Mexico. Dr. Petzel has assured the New Mexico lawmakers that the VA is aware of the problems and will do everything in its power to address them, including meeting the January 2014 deadline for opening a new community-based outpatient clinic in Raton.
Raton’s existing VA Clinic will remain fully functional up until the day the new clinic opens up.
To get to the site take Hereford east off of South 2nd Street and turn north onto Whittier Street. 1493 Whittier is just north of the old Morgan Building site.