The new VA clinic under construction in Shiloh is almost done
Shiloh Mayor Jim Vernier said the new facility is "a great thing for the region as a whole."
The new St. Clair County VA Clinic will be at 1190 Fortune Blvd., which is east of the Green Mount Crossing Shopping Center. It's in the Parkway 64 Corporate Center, across the street from Heartland Women’s Healthcare.
Come mid-June, the new clinic will be double in size, replacing the 5,000-square-foot Belleville Community Based Outpatient Clinic in west Belleville.
"It looks great. We need to treat our veterans good, and it's high time we do more of that in St. Clair County, and I know this new clinic will do that for them, especially with it being so much closer to the highway now," Vernier said.
The contractor for the new Shiloh facility is Tom Grunloh of Grunloh Construction, which is based in Effingham.
Grunloh also oversaw construction of the Marion VA Medical Center and the Effingham Community-Based Outpatient Clinics, making Shiloh's facility his third VA project.
"It's been a great experience working with the veteran administration on these clinics. It's helped bring service to the people a lot closer and making it more accessible for them," Grunloh said.
Currently, crews are preparing the exterior ground area to pour concrete for the parking lot.
"We've got doors and hardware that will be coming up in here the end of April. That will be the last step to complete the construction," Grunloh said.
Equipment and furnishings will be installed in late May, according to Gary Drikow, VA St. Louis Health Care System chief of design and engineering.
"We are a little bit behind schedule in part because of the weather, but we are still planning on moving in by the end of May and seeing patients in June," Drikow said.
The new clinic in Shiloh is expected to see its first patients on Monday, June 18, with the existing Belleville location closing its doors on Friday, June 15.
With about 13,000 square feet, the one-story facility will have 15 exam and consultation rooms.
The west Belleville VA clinic currently has 15 staff members, including three providers, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and medical surgical associates, and one psychologist, telehealth technician and pharmacist.
Drikow said the new Shiloh location will have 21 employees, including four physicians, licensed practical nurses, medical surgical associates and one psychologist, telehealth technician, pharmacist and registered dietitian.
"Any veteran who is enrolled to receive services with the VA can utilize any of the VA's facilities. Meaning not only local residents but those passing through the area or visiting friends and family can use the VA's network of health care facilities," Drikow said. "The VA's network is the largest and most advanced in the country. We encourage veterans not already using our services to do so."
The VA Saint Louis Health Care System consists of two divisions: John Cochran and Jefferson Barracks, serving eastern Missouri and western Illinois. It also has a research and education health care network actively affiliated with Saint Louis University School of Medicine and Washington School of Medicine.
Vernier said the new facility's "prime location" is less than a mile from two new hospitals: Memorial Hospital East in Shiloh and St. Elizabeth's Hospital in O'Fallon.
"It will be a great addition for our community, especially for our veterans, with the additional doctors," Vernier said.