Veterans town hall provides resources, updates on new Eastern Baltimore County VA clinic
A Veterans Town Hall and job fair was held at the Rosedale Senior on Wednesday, November 8 with the purpose of keeping local veterans informed and connected to available resources.
The event’s first speaker was Ming T. Vincenti, the Public Affairs Specialist and Community Outreach Coordinator for the VA Maryland Health Care System, who provided updates on the much-anticipated opening of the new Eastern Baltimore County VA Outpatient Clinic in Rosedale.
The official opening of the 140,000 square foot clinic at the Franklin Square Professional Center was, at first, planned for August of this year. It was then moved to this winter but has been further delayed to early 2019, said Vincenti.
She added that she took a tour of the facility a few months ago and while the outside and structure of the building seems to be ready to go, inside there is still a lot of construction and setup to be done.
January is the goal now, weather permitting, but some further delays may happen.
The Eastern Baltimore County VA Clinic will offer primary, mental, and women’s health care along with social work assistance and various medical screenings, replacing the services once provided by the Fort Howard VA Clinic which closed in 2016.
Vincenti said that the Maryland VA spent a long time looking for the best place for the new clinic since they wanted something that was both spacious and was easy enough to get too with bus lines and other major highways.
“I think we accomplished that,” she said.
The new clinic will be significantly larger than the Fort Howard location, taking over the second floor of the building on 5235 King Ave. The VA will be 3 primary care providers to service the clinic.
Vincenti said that once the clinic is up and running, appointment delay times should be reduced, which is something the Maryland VA has been working on improving throughout Maryland.
Once the opening date is confirmed, enrolled patients in the area will be notified via mail. The clinic will offer appointments Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Those interested in applying for VA health care can enroll by visiting Vets. gov or calling 887-222-VETS (8387).
The next speaker was Dana S. Burl, the director of the Outreach and Advocacy Program through Mar yland Department of Veterans Affairs. She explained that the small state government agency has 5 core programs to assist veterans, including their most-used service and benefits program.
“They are diligently assisting veterans, dependents, and survivors, providing them with representation on their behalf when they are filing for benefits, including compensation for disability, pension, sur vivor’s benefits,” said Burl.
Currently, the only state veterans home in Maryland is Charlotte Hall Veterans Home in St. Mary’s County. But Burl said the organization is hoping to see second state veterans home come to Maryland, and more specifically, to Baltimore County, soon.
“But that is still a very fluid concept at this point. It’s a vision of ours and we’re very hopeful to see that one day.”
Other speakers at the town hall included representatives from Veteran Legal Aid, which provides free legal services for veterans, the Maryland Center for Veteran Education and Training, a long-term recovery housing program for homeless veterans and substance abuse treatment, and the Dundalk Vet Center, which provides readjustment counselling services and individual, marriage, family and group therapies for combat veterans.
This is the 4th year Del. Ric Metzgar (R-6) and the rest of the delegation has hosted a Veterans Town Hall.
“It is an event that I look forward to doing for our veterans because every year new information comes out that the veterans do not know,” Metzgar told the Avenue News.
The Eastern Baltimore County Outpatient VA Outpatient Clinic is expected to open by early 2019.
Ming T. Vincenti, the Public Affairs Specialist/ Community Outreach Coordinator for the VA Maryland Health Care System, gives the crowd more information on the forthcoming Eastern Baltimore County VA Outpatient Clinic in Rosedale.