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State-of-the-art VA clinic opens in Missoula

 David J. Thatcher VA Clinic in Missoula, MT.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
David J. Thatcher VA Clinic in Missoula.

A brand new, state-of-the-art VA clinic opens this week in western Montana. Officials say the Missoula facility outshines its predecessor in every way.

The days of Missoula-area veterans seeking VA health care services in a cramped, undersized clinic are over. The new 60,000-square-foot David J. Thatcher VA Clinic just east of Missoula International Airport opens Feb. 1.

Named for the decorated Montanan who participated in the 1942 Doolittle Raid on Japan, the clinic is at least twice as big as the older facility.

Montana U.S. Sen. Jon Tester attended Friday's grand opening ceremony. Tester, a Democrat, is Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

“I think it’s going to be a whole new world for the veterans in western Montana, particularly those who live close to Missoula, to have access to a first-rate medical care team that’s going to be pretty darn comprehensive in their ability to provide health care," he said.

Veterans will now be able to meet with multiple providers based out of a single appointment room. They’ll have access to traditional and enhanced health care services including primary care, mental health care, radiology, and providers with experience treating women veterans.

Tester says the clinic is facing some initial staffing challenges, but vows that every effort will be made to get it fully staffed as soon as possible.
Copyright 2022 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.

Edward O'Brien is Montana Public Radio's Associate News Director.