Hampton VA unveils new clinic

(WAVY/Chris Omahen)

HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — The hospital that nearly 50,000 local veterans depend on now has more exam space.

On Friday, Hampton Veterans Affairs Medical Center unveiled the expansion that Director Michael Dunfee says will help reduce wait times for appointments. The exam rooms, converted from former administrative offices, will be used for primary care and behavioral health services.

“Every little bit is gonna help us decrease our waiting times,” Dunfee said.

He reported the latest wait times were about 25 days for primary care, which is down from 27 days in January. The national average is just under seven days. Hampton currently has the third-longest wait times among V.A. medical centers across the country.

Dunfee said getting better wait times is a function of adding space and adding staff. He said if all goes as planned, Hampton will have hired a dozen new doctors by the end of April.

As part of the expansion, Hampton also has new video technology that enables patients to consult with doctors without having to see them face to face. And Chief of Primary Care Dr.Terri Lockhart is a fan of the technology. She said it expands Hampton’s reach: “It allows us to take the services to the veterans in their community.”

Hampton will soon add another 10,000 square feet of exam space on the Southside. Dunfee said details on the exact location will come in the next few months.

The director said he “absolutely” believes wait times will continue to improve as Hampton adds space and doctors in the coming months.

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