LUBBOCK, Texas – The VA Clinic first opened their doors June 1, 2021. The new location set out to make medical access more convenient to thousands of veterans who were having to travel over 266 miles to Amarillo for checkups and prescriptions.
To help celebrate the occasion, Lubbock Elk Lodge 1348 provided food, smiles and refreshments to veterans, staff and family members. Lubbock Elk Lodge 1348’s Exalted Ruler, Bebe Evens, said the organization wouldn’t have missed the event for the world.
“It is a huge landmark and brings tons of services here,” Evens said, “and expanded the services that are needed by the veterans that live here in our community.”
A year later, the facility has thrived and expanded its services exponentially. The VA Clinic’s Administrator Antron Patton said they’ve grown their outreach programs including at home patient care.
“Our VA has hired a bunch of new employees to fill some new vacancies to help us expand some new programs,” Patton said, ”and build on programs that were already in existence at the old VA. For example, now we have a respiratory therapist here in Lubbock. The respiratory therapists can fit veterans for their CPAP apps…They also can do home oxygen. We have a new vision impairment program.”
Patton also said there is still a lot more in the works. For Veteran’s like Miguel Gutierrez who was driving from Slaton to Amarillo a year ago, Gutierrez said the Clinic has been a blessing –especially with food and gas prices at an all time high.
“We have to drive to Lubbock,” Gutierrez said, “not all the way to Amarillo. So, that takes a lot of time for us. We are not knowing that we also have other appointments, such as me, you can have all kinds of problems. So, if that’s really helped, and we certainly appreciate that.”