BUTTE - Veterans and the public got their first tour of the new VA Outpatient Clinic in Butte which will provide convenient service to those who served this country.
A large crowd endured the cold, blustery weather as the ribbon was cut on the 11,000 square-foot facility off Three Bears Drive.
“To each veteran, I hope you find strength, courage and healing in this new clinic,” said Montana VA Executive Director Dr. Judy Hayman.
Veterans were more enthusiastic about the new clinic than the weather.
“It could have been a lot warmer. That wind was kind of cold,” said Vietnam veteran Pat Hastie.
The new clinic is almost four times larger than the old one in Anaconda that it’s replacing. U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, who was able to secure federal funding for the $1.3 million facility, credited the determination of local veterans for getting the project done.
“You guys worked hard, you never said die, you said, ‘Tester, dammit, go to work and get this thing funded,’ and we were able to do it,” said Tester.
After the ceremony, guests were given a tour of the new clinic. Many veterans were impressed with the new clinic even though they appreciated the service they received in the old clinic.
“There’s no comparison, the best thing about it is having the same staff come over that are familiar with those of us being seen over there for some time,” said Vietnam Veteran Glenn Callaghan.
Patients will have their own private exam rooms, while nurses and physicians have their area, so they can go right to the patients. This place is all about space and convenience.
“I’ve been using that one in Anaconda waiting for this one to open. Now, I’m going to use this one. A lot bigger, a lot nicer, I’m going to enjoy it. I’m going to get lost trying to find my doctor,” laughed Hastie.
The first day for the Butte clinic is May 10th.