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New VA Clinic opens in Colorado Springs, hundreds of vets use facility on opening day

By Eric Fink, Multimedia Journalist, eric.fink@krdo.com
Published On: Aug 18 2014 10:16:51 PM CDT

The new VA clinic is more than 76,000 square feet. Thousands of veterans in Southern Colorado will use the facility for care.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

A vision two years in the making is complete. The brand new clinic for military veterans opened Monday in Northwest Colorado Springs.

Hundreds of vets in Southern Colorado are already taking advantage of the services at the 76,000 square-foot clinic, but one vet wonders if the negative image of the VA can be improved.

Army veteran Chris Dike spent a year in Iraq and was wounded several times in his tour of duty. He estimates he's 80 percent disabled.

Dike was one of the first patients inside the doors to the new clinic.

"Now everything is in one spot," Dike said. "It should be a lot easier."

"We have worked several years to get this open and we are having so much fun with it," clinic manager Carolyn Jewell said. "It's so great for the whole team to be under one roof, so we can talk to each other and the veterans can have all of their care done at one time.".

Dike is excited for a new beginning at a new health care facility, but he's also a bit skeptical.

"If you have issues going out in public or anywhere else and they won't see you for two weeks and they change your appointment six times in between there," the vet said, "I mean, yeah, it's a nice building but if it's the same people running it, it's not going to matter how nice it is."

The new clinic features radiology services so many vets will no longer have to travel to Denver for that type of care.

"It's a beautiful building, Jewell said. "I think it's one of a kind in the nation for veterans."

Veterans looking for a lift to the new clinic are getting help from Mountain Metro Transit. Route 2 which goes from downtown to the El Paso County Service Center, will now stop at the new clinic.

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