Liberal outpatient clinic shutting down

Judd Weil
Dodge City Daily Globe

LIBERAL — The Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center announced the Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) in Liberal — opened in 2018 and co-located with the Southwest Medical Center — will cease operations after Jan. 14, 2021.

“We are disappointed to have to make this decision,” said Candace Ifabiyi, Medical Center director for Dole VA. “We have a range of options to meet the health care needs of veterans in southwest Kansas. Our VA clinic in Dodge City is within driving distance for some veterans in the area. That clinic is well-staffed and a great option for many.

“We also provide virtual care options with VA Video Connect (VVC) and robust telehealth capabilities. These virtual programs let veterans connect by video with their VA care teams from the comfort of their home. For eligible veterans who may not have the necessary internet service or technology to connect with the VA, we can provide them with VA-issued tablets or smart phones to provide easier access to health care.”

Enrolled veterans can access private urgent care facilities in the VA network, thanks to the Mission Act.

Many providers in the southwest Kansas area are authorized Mission Act providers, and as such can offer and perform routine care.

“We want veterans who prefer to remain in the VA system to know that the providers and staff at the Wichita VA and Dodge City VA Clinic are anxious to welcome them to either of those locations,” said Ifabiyi.

The VA Community Outpatient Clinic in Dodge City is located at 2201 Summerlon Circle and its hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.

Veterans currently receiving care at the Liberal CBOC need to call the VA Community Outpatient Clinic at 1-888-878-6881, ext. 57450, or can call 620-225-7146 to discuss their health care options.

“The Dodge City VA Clinic has ample staff and resources to provide care for the less-than 280 new patients coming from Liberal,” said Jeff Herndon, acting public affairs officer for Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center. “It’s important to note there are only two full-time employees at Liberal, both of whom will continue to work virtually in support of the Wichita facility.”

Veterans who would like to enroll with the Dole VA health care system may call toll free 1-888-878-6881, ext. 54737.