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Vets say monthly VA visit ‘positive experience’

Several local veterans went to Inter Island Medical Center on Saturday for treatment and medication evaluations by Veterans Administration personnel.

The 11 VA medical personnel, under the direction of nurse Frankie Manning, provided many services for which local vets have had to travel to Seattle.

Gale Carter, first island patient to be welcomed Saturday under the new program, was enthralled. Having endured the round-trip travels to Seattle, he called it “a positive experience” not having to leave the island.

“I was so impressed by these people. They were so thorough, so complete,” he said.

Carter is a good judge, having co-founded the Islands Convalescent Center with his late wife, Doreen, in 1967.

Many of those at Inter Island Medical Center set up consultations for the next visiting VA clinic July 26 (the last Saturday of the month).

Veterans say the monthly clinic will save them many hours and much difficulty.

— Howard Schonberger

Murray, Larsen announce new VA clinic today

Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Rick Larsen will join with Veterans Administration representatives and local leaders to formally announce the location of a permanent Northwest Washington VA Community-Based Outpatient Clinic to serve veterans in a five county area.

Murray and Larsen have long pressed the VA to open a permanent community-based outpatient clinic in Northwest Washington so local veterans don’t have to spend hours driving to Seattle for routine care.

The clinic will serve veterans in Island , San Juan, Skagit, North Snohomish and Whatcom counties.

In addition to primary care services, the clinic will support mental health, social work, pharmacy, ear, X-ray and dental services and will eventually serve more than 6,500 veterans.

Murray, D-Wash., and Larsen, D-Everett, will make the announcement at 1 p.m. at the Mount Vernon Medical Building near Skagit Valley Hospital. They will be joined by Stan Johnson, VA Puget Sound Health Care System director; Mount Vernon Mayor Bud Norris and Greg Davidson of Skagit Valley Hospital.

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