By Congressman Michael Turner
In October of 2007, I worked with the VA to organize a health fair to take place in Clinton County to provide screenings and medical care to local veterans. This event was very successful and demonstrated the need for veterans medical care in our community. To meet this continuing need, another health fair will take place in Wilmington on April 15. This health fair will also serve as a test to see if the area could support a community-based outreach clinic in Wilmington.
At the successful Clinton County health fair last fall, dozens of area veterans received medical services. Another strong turnout at the upcoming health fair will again show the VA that there is a real need for a permanent monthly veterans health care clinic in our area. By attending the April 15th health fair, area veterans will help themselves by getting a much needed health screening and by taking a critical step in improving the availability of health care for fellow veterans in their community.
The Clinton County health fair became necessary in March of 2007 when the Veterans Outreach Clinic in Hillsboro was closed. This clinic served as the primary health care provider for many of the 8,000 veterans that live in Clinton and Highland Counties. Vets seeking Veterans Affairs medical attention had to travel to Cincinnati, Dayton, or Chillicothe, all of which are significant distances from their homes. This is why it is so important to make certain that veterans in Clinton and Highland Counties have a nearby option to receive their care.
Veterans not currently enrolled in VA Healthcare should schedule an appointment with Ray Souder, the Clinton County Veteran Service Officer, at (937) 382-3233. Veterans who are seeking services for the first time are asked to bring with them a copy of their military service record and/or their Official Military Personnel File (DD-214, OMPF) and a completed Preventative Medicine Clinic Medical History form. The form can be downloaded from the Dayton VA website at www.dayton.va.gov.
The Health Fair will be held at the Free Clinic of Clinton County at 62. E. Sugartree Street, Wilmington. The services and screenings will begin at 8:30 a.m. and will conclude at 4:30 p.m. The services provided will include: blood pressure checks, flu, tetanus, and pneumonia vaccinations as well as oral cancer, cholesterol, and glucose screenings.
I am proud of our community for the work we have done in protecting health care for our local veterans. They deserve our undying gratitude for their service and sacrifices. They also deserve for us to keep our promise and provide them with the best possible health care. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the House Veterans Affairs Committee, I work to help make certain that our nation honors its commitment to all those who have served in uniform. I encourage all veterans in our community who are not registered for VA medical care to come to the health fair on April 15 for their continued good health and to work toward the goal of establishing a monthly clinic for Clinton and Highland Counties.
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