New VA clinic opens in Benton Township, offering expanded services to veterans in Southwest Michigan
BENTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – After two years of planning and hard work, the new Benton Harbor Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic, located on Mall Drive, is ready to open its doors to veterans in Southwest Michigan.
“Veterans are being seen by our staff today, and we have all the services available for enrollment and them getting initial appointments as soon as possible,” said Dr. Ketan Shah, the Acting Medical Center Director, with the Battle Creek VA.
The new, over fourteen-thousand square-foot facility is a much needed upgrade from the old clinic, located in downtown Benton Harbor, boasting more than double the space, more parking and a larger laboratory—all in a more convenient location, easily accessible from I-94, I-196 and the US-31 Bypass—offering primary care for veterans—as well as mental health services—without having to travel to Battle Creek or Muskegon.
Dr. Shah said “We were looking for the best place for veterans to travel and come over, and with the size of the clinic we wanted to ensure that we could expand our services.”
The new clinic will provide the same level of care as the old clinic, but now the added space allows for adding more healthcare services and therapies, including physical therapy, chiropractic therapy, as well as telehealth services, allowing for veterans to see doctors and specialists from the comfort of their own home.
The new clinic and its upgrades has local veterans excited.
“All in all, I think it’s going to be a lot better,” said George Nail, who served in the Army and spent a year in Vietnam and suffered from PTSD when he came home, but he initially avoided the VA—a scenario not uncommon among veterans.
“A lot of veterans don’t recognize what the VA has available to them,” said Maureen Adams, the Berrien County Veterans Service Officer. “It’s a situation where you don’t know what you don’t know.”
It wasn’t until a fellow veteran told Nail to check it out, and after getting the help that he needed, Nail realized how beneficial the clinic could be to others like him, and has since encouraged others to visit.
“I’m proud to say before I got the disabilities that I had, I was able to point to others, and they got in quicker than I did. I didn’t get upset about it or anything, but I was glad for them, and now it’s just like I can say ‘hey, take a look at the new toy that we’ve got now, and take advantage of it!” said Nail. He believed this new facility would help attract even more veterans to get the help they need.
“If you don’t like it, don’t come back,” he said. “But I’m pretty sure once you come in and you look at it, sit down in the seat and look at what’s going on, it’s going to sell itself.”
If you are a veteran looking for medical help, you are encouraged to reach out to your county veterans officer or to a social worker with the VA to get a benefit checkup.
More information for Berrien County veterans can be found here: Veterans Services | Berrien County, MI