The long awaited VA Clinic in Jasper will open it’s doors on Monday, August 31.
Contractor David Shouse, who spearheaded the project said the Jasper is the first of five bids, awarded in 2015, to open. Veterans can come on Monday to register and transfer their services.
The center, located at 934 East Church Street, will offer primary care, telehealth, mental health, eye, and audiology. They will begin telehealth upon opening.
“We are always honored to serve our Veterans,” said Ann Brown, Director of the Atlanta VA Health Care Systems.
The opening will give Shouse a chance to serve the veterans who have stopped by almost daily, wanting to know when it will open.
“It’ll provide services for 6,000 veterans,” he said, adding Pickens County has 3,000 veterans residing in it. “It really got to me. Some of these veterans couldn’t get medical care because they couldn’t afford to drive to Atlanta VA Clinic.”
“The new Pickens County VA Clinic will increase access and ensure that our Veterans continue to receive the high-quality health care that they have earned and deserve closer to their home,” said Brown.
CHECK THE VA ON FACEBOOK
Enrolled Veterans, with access to MyHealtheVet Premium, may use the link https://www.myhealth.va.gov/mhv-portal-web/home to send a secure message to the assigned Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) to
request a transfer to this new clinic or call the telephone advice line (TAP) 404-329-2222.
Veterans not enrolled in VA health care can do so by using the following information:
Online Enrollment: (VA Form 10-10EZ): https://www.va.gov/health-care/apply/application/introduction
- After submitti.ng the form, a confirmation message will be sent.
- Health care applications are processed within a week.
Veterans may also enroll via telephone: 1-877-222-8387. Monday thru Friday, 8:00am – 8:00pm ET. If more than a week has passed since the application submission date, please do not apply again. Instead, call 1-877-222-8387 for more information.
“We are always trying to improve services for our Veterans, and the new Pickens County VA Clinic helps us do just that,” Brown added.
Due to COVID 19, the new Pickens County VA clinic and all our outpatient clinics and Community-Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs) are open for telehealth visits. Only clinically urgent face-to-face visits are being conducted. These visits require approval in advance and Veterans who present without an appointment will be encouraged to schedule telehealth visits via MyHealtheVet.
Veterans are encouraged to contact their primary care PACT for non-emergent medical needs using either the MyHealtheVet website secure messaging options featured on the https://www.myhealth.va.gov/mhv-portal-web/home site or by calling the TAP line 404-329-2222.
READ THE PREVIOUS STORY ABOUT THE VA CLINIC IN JASPER.
David Shouse received the required 620 signatures for getting his name on the ballot in his bid to run for Pickens County Chairman of the Board of Commissioners. He said he received word at 10:13 on Tuesday night.
“I had personally verified 836 signatures to ensure he had the 620 necessary ones. He turned in 130 pages of signatures, about 1,100-1,300 signatures, but verification stopped at 620. The independent candidate will now face-off against Republican Kris Stancil.
“I had full confidence that Mr. Shouse would be able to make it on the ballot in November. I know that this has been a task that he can take pride in.,” said Stancil.
He said the next step will be a lot of grass routes campaigning, some outdoor meet and greet events, adding they would follow guidelines for health safety.
“I want to really try and let the citizens of Pickens County know there is a candidate not tied to either party who can bring the amenities they want, while lowering their taxes,” he said. “I’ve seen the government waste as a businessman and how things can be done better.”
Shouse said he’s had to jump through those wasteful government loops to build his business and uses his VA Clinic experience as an example. His journey to get the clinic located in Jasper started July 2015 and the center opens for business on Monday.
“There were five awards given at the same time,” said Shouse. “Mine is the only one opening.”
He credited that accomplishment with being able to call, and push buttons when the red tape and hurdles popped up.
Shouse said his philosophy is to listen to the people.
“If it’s all about what you want to do, that’s a dictator,” he said “I’m here to serve. I don’t have to do this, but I’ve seen the issues and I need to make these 33,000 citizens feel like they matter again.”
“Him running as an independent doesn’t change how we will continue to run our race. I am running for the future and the citizens of our community and not against another person. This has been my philosophy since originally announcing the campaign over one year ago, said Stancil. ” I will fight to protect us from complacency and from over development while fighting to create opportunities for our citizens.”
READ ABOUT THE VA CLINIC, HERE.
JASPER, Ga. – Today marked a special day for veterans in Pickens county as the VA Clinic not only celebrated Independence Day, but honored the day and the location as they raised, in dedication, a new flag on their flagpole.
The American Flag was custom made by Annin with 100 percent American made materials according to the Va Clinic’s statements online. They said Annin was established in 1847 and is the largest and oldest manufacturer of flags in the world. Their flags draped Abraham Lincoln’s casket, were raised at Iwo Jima, and have flown to the moon.
The Marine Corps League North Georgia Mountain Detachment 1280 raised the flag and the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 47 Honor Guard of Jasper, Georgia conducted a firing salute. Mark Mitton lead prayer to start. Britney Walker sang the National Anthem.
The flag measures 30 feet by 38 feet and was raised on a 90 feet tall flagpole. Owner of the VA Clinic Building, Supervisor of the property, and the man who purchased and built the flagpole in front of the clinic, David Shouse said the event went far better than he expected as they filled every parking space and even had more parking on a nearby hill.
Shouse said that when he was first asked to build a flagpole in front of the VA Clinic, he was told they could have a small one or something sufficient. Shouse said he replied at the time, “If we’re going to build a flagpole, then we are going to build a flagpole.” Since the construction, Shouse said they have flown smaller flags to let the pole settle and have some time before adding a larger one with more weight and wind drag.
However, Shouse said that the larger flag was not supposed to be delivered until August. But as the times aligned, and they were able to have it delivered last week, they pushed for a more meaningful day, July 4, 2020. Independence Day would become their day of celebration and dedication, for just as we celebrate our freedoms, our independence, and our rights on this day, so too would this day hold meaning for the clinic, and for the flag flying outside of it. A representation that Shouse said would mark a “modern VA Clinic that will provide local care to our veteran’s that have waited so patiently for something they deserve.”
The VA Clinic serves local veterans in, according to Shouse, a community with the largest veteran demographic population in the county and serving those veterans is a necessary service for such a place.
More than just a flag, it is the people who were there to celebrate the dedication, it was the presence of the Marine Corps League, the Veterans, the Honor Guard, the presence of people that made the dedication meaningful. For it is not a ceremony or a constructed symbol that makes something sacred. It is, instead, the people who honor that symbol, the people who recognize the meaning that make it so.
(Photos provided by David Shouse and the Pickens County VA Clinic)