Warren County Farm Colony VA Clinic Unveils New Addition

The Warren County VA Clinic at the Farm Colony complex includes a brand new, 2,000-square-foot addition that features several comfortable exam rooms, tele-medicine facilities, crisis counseling, real-time video capabilities, a women’s health suite, a group room, and a brand new lab.

The clinic serves about 2,000 veterans and should be seeing some new faces following a recent open house. According to Public Affairs Specialist Sarah Gudgeon, about 10 first-time enrollees attended the three-hour open house. The addition has been open for about two months.

Erie VA Medical Center Director John Gennaro attended the event.

“This newly renovated clinic paves the road for future growth as we continue to expand services and enhance access to care for the veterans were are privileged to serve,” Gennaro said.

Social Worker and Behavioral Health Specialist Sarah Goebel was one of the employees who took visitors on tours of the facility.

She pointed out the new imaging cart that allows doctors in Erie or Pittsburgh to see problems patients in Warren are complaining about. “It saves you the trip and gets you started in care that much quicker,” Goebel said.

A private room with a large screen and video link allows veterans “to meet privately with the doctor” in another city without physically traveling there.

On Wednesday, the tele-medicine services at the clinic allowed a patient in Warren to have a 30-minute appointment with a doctor in Pittsburgh without any of the travel time and expense of physically leaving Warren County, TeleHealth Technician and retired Marine Corps Corpsman (field medical officer) Mike Bish said. “It saves people a lot of travel.”

The retinal imaging equipment allows similar travel savings. Results of scans, typically of patients with diabetes, on the equipment can be sent immediately to specialists, Bish said. The technological capabilities of the clinic allow for fast turn-around times. Bish said a patient with a recent skin concern heard back from a panel of three dermatologists with three days. Another patient went from an appointment to have a doctor look at a dark spot to having a cancerous mass removed in 10 days.

The clinic is changing with the military.

As the proportion of female veterans continues to grow, the new women’s health suite provides “a full complement” of services “for our female veterans,” Goebel said.

The group room allows veterans to get together to learn or talk about concerns from weight and nutrition to mental health and PTSD, Bish said.