New VA clinic opens in Decorah - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

New VA clinic opens in Decorah

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DECORAH (KWWL) -

Veterans in far northeast Iowa will no longer have go miles out of their way for medical care. A new veterans clinic opened Thursday in Decorah. It's a facility veterans groups have been fighting to get for almost a decade.

With several snips of a ribbon, the new Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic is now open in Decorah. A couple hundred people from the area came to check out the new facility during an open house.

"A lot of people are very thrilled to know they can get their primary care. We have mental health services. We have radiology. We have a lab. A lot of services that they will be able to come here instead of going to Iowa city, Waterloo, or some end up going to community hospitals," said Dawn Oxley, the acting Director of the Iowa City VA Healthcare system.

Erik Nykkanen is a Vietnam War veteran and lives in Waukon. He says this part of Iowa is in dire need of this clinic.

"Now they can get their primary care and they'll go to Iowa City for specialty clinic," Nykkanen.

Jack Krumwiede is a Korean War veteran and will turn 80 this weekend. This clinic means a lot to him.

"It means I don't have to travel 60, 70, 100 miles to go see a service that's 100 percent better on me," said Krumwiedi.

"It's along time coming and it's well put together and it's going to serve a lot of veterans," said Nykkanen.

With the number of veterans increasing everyday there is definitely more interest.

"We seem to have a lot of people coming in that have not been in the VA system at all yet that are signing up now," said Oxley.

The VA will continue to send veterans to Iowa City for more advanced testing.

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