VA seeks to stay in Mount Vernon

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Clinic serves nearly 3,000 Barry County veterans

The Gene Taylor Outpatient Clinic in Mount Vernon, which serves 2,975 Barry County veterans, is trying to remain open in the Missouri Rehabilitation Center through 2017.

"We are currently working with the University of Missouri and the city of Mount Vernon on an interim plan that would allow our operations to remain at the MRC facility through 2017 -- at which time the clinic will relocate to Springfield, Mo.," said Wanda Shull, a public affairs officer for the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks. "We take our obligation to the 17,000 Veterans we serve out of this clinic seriously, and appreciate the collaboration between all parties to keep their care in place without interruption."

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs leases 35,000 square feet from the University of Missouri, which operates the center. The clinic has approximately 140 VA employees.

In July, Gov. Jay Nixon line item vetoed House Bill 2003 to decrease the appropriation for the center from $10,337,870 to $5,168,93 in the general fund. The House and Senate plan to override that line item veto during today's Veto Session.

In October 2011, the VA authorized a plan to lease 68,000 square feet for a community-based outpatient clinic in Springfield by January 2015, but the plan was delayed until February 2017, according to a U.S. Government Accountability Office report released on June 3.

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